Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 4

Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland, Volume 1, Issue 1, Page 4


periodical Publisher
Clementi & Co., London, 1809
periodical Editor
Edward Bunting
periodical Title
Bunting - A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland
volume Number
issue Content
Q bttov rtfatr.BAnDS of other times! ye on whose souls the blue hosts of our fathers rise, strike the Harpin my hail, and let me hear the song. Pleasant is the joy of grief; it is like the shower of springwhen it softens the branch of the oak, and the young leaf rears its green head. Raise the song,and strike the Harp! send round the shells of joy! Let some grey bard be near me to tell thedeeds of other times, of kings renowned in our land, of chiefs we behold no more.Such wasthe song of FING AL ln the days of his joy: his thousand bards leaned forward from their seats tohear the voice of the king. OssIAN.I RELAND from a remote period has been celebrated for its cultivation of music, and ad-mitted as one of the parent countries of that art, yet the present is the first general collectionof its national airs; most of them are so old, that their authors, and the eras in which theycomposed them, are unknown.The works of two of the latest composers, Conollan and Carolan, have before beenselected, but even these partially, and from copies generally defective; while most of theproductions of their masters, to whom they looked up with veneration, and of whose excel-lence they have fallen short, are scarcely known in the country where they flourished. Torescue them from oblivion, the editor, about ten years ago, presented the public with avolume of their works .The causes which retarded this publication justify the delay: the editor was desirous torender the collection so extensive as to supersede the necessity for others; to collate the airsof different provinces with each other; to procure translations of some of the finest songs, andfor several of the airs best adapted for the purpose to give English words with an in-strumental accompaniment. To these he wished to annex the original poetry in the Irishcharacter. His aim was to form a collection which would comprehend, as nearly as possible,all that is valuable in the ancient music of this country.To complete the plan, it was necessary to secure many valuable airs, hitherto confined toparticular districts of the kingdom. In these districts, particularly Connaught and Munster,he has minutely and repeatedly made his researches in person, and taken from instruments,and the voices of old people, a number of strains that might not otherwise have survived thesingers. He was accompanied by a person versed in the Irish tongue, who took down theoriginal words; these words, it is true, appear from internal evidence not to be generallycoeval with the music. Often when the strain is most pathetic or dignified, the sense of thepoetry bears little relation to the expression of the air, yet, as local curiosities, they may notbe uninteresting.Dr. Crotch, in his course of lectures in Oxford and London, in which he gave examples of the different styles ofmusic, was pleased to say, that in the first volume of this work, amounting to upwards of sixty tunes, there axevery few indeed which are not extremely fine. So flattering a compliment from an eminent judge, animates theeditors hopes with regard to the fate of the entire work.A
issue Number
page Number
periodical Author
Edward Bunting
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