Musical Gifts from Animals @ Galway Early Music Festival 2017

Musical Gifts from Animals @ Galway Early Music Festival 2017

Saturday, 20 May 2017, 11.00am

Ancient Music Ireland
Simon O’Dwyer and Maria Cullen O’Dwyer

11 am – 2pm

Ancient Music Ireland puts on a fascinating display of ancient musical instruments, many of which you can try yourselves!

Many musical instruments have their origins in animal material.  Early flutes are made from bird bones.  Ancient Irish bronze trumpets are derived from domestic animal horns e.g. cattle, sheep and goats.  Skin and bones are used for percussion.  Simple flute stones which occur naturally on the sea shore are made by shellfish that drill holes into them.  Seashells have been sounded as musical horns for thousands of years.

The exhibition is followed by a talk and demonstration of these instruments at 2pm. Ancient Music Ireland’s presentation will especially feature the evolution of the great horn and trumpet tradition of Ireland and Britain from ancient cattle horns to ritualised Bronze Age instruments and culminating in the great trumpas of the Iron Age.

2017 GEMF Programme 


Published on 8 May 2017

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