Píobaire, An, Volume 9, Issue 5, Page 18

Píobaire, An, Volume 9, Issue 5, Page 18
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
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Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
An Píobaire
volume Number
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Píobaire, An 9 5 18 20131126 18 An old tune revived T HE TUNE PRESENTED for your delectation in this issue is “Morgiana in Ireland” a jig-time tune which seems to me to be intended to be understood as a march. It was apparently first published in 1800, and com- posed by Jonathan Blewitt, although it has also been attributed to the Scottish composer Nathaniel Gow (see www.asaplive.com/arch- ive/detail.asp?id=R0501001). In the early 19th century it began to appear in print and manuscript collections, usually iden- tified as an Irish tune. In his Sources Of Irish Traditional Music Aloys Fleischmann identi- fies the earliest instance of the tune as that in Lee’s Collection of Country Dances for the Present Year, which has hitherto been dated to 1795 but which Fleischmann dates to c. 1810. The other instance that Fleischmann lists is the one included in the second volume of O’Far- rells Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes (c. 1816), which is shown below. The version on page 19 is transcribed from the playing of an ensemble comprising piper Pádraig McGovern with John Carty and Donal Lunny. The recording that contains this track is entitled Leitrim Equation 3, which was re- cently released. I heard it on Ellen Cranitch’s LyricFM programme Grace Notes on October 17th. This broadcast can be accessed online (the track is 17 minutes in). The tune is transcribed as it is played on the recording, with the final two parts treated as one for repeat purposes. It was apparently learned from the version in the Grier Manuscripts. Al- though the tune is not barred in that way in the Grier version, it is in the version in Francis Roche’s collection (II.283), where it is classed as a set dance. The latter version, in playable Sibelius format, can be accessed at the ITMA website. Thanks to Maeve Gebruers of the ITMA for this information. Morgiana was apparently a character in the tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. How she got to Ireland is anybody’s guess, but a good conjecture would be that it occurred in the mind of a composer of some pantomime. Terry Moylan
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An Píobaire, Volume 9, Issue 5

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