Early Irish Harp Discovery Days in Waterford and Galway

Picture: Micheál Ó Catháin

Early Irish Harp Discovery Days in Waterford and Galway

Historical Harp Society of Ireland to present performances, talks and hands-on workshops for those interested in trying the instrument.

The Historical Harp Society of Ireland is presenting four Early Irish Harp Discovery Days around Ireland to help promote the ancient Irish harp. The first two Discovery Days take place in Waterford and Galway in March with two more in the autumn in Dublin and Belfast.

Each Discovery Day begins with a lunchtime recital of solo harp music and harpers’ songs performed by harper Siobhán Armstrong and singer Eibhlís Ní Ríordáin. This is followed by an illustrated talk on the instrument by Simon Chadwick. Participants who sign up in advance will then have the opportunity to take part in a hands-on early Irish harp workshop.

The HHSI has a unique collection of copies of early Irish harps copied from originals in the National Museum of Ireland. The instrument was played in Ireland for more than 800 years in the medieval Gaelic courts and later the great houses. 

Director of the HHSI, Siobhán Armstrong, commented:

This rather special Irish harp is very different to its modern, nylon-strung counterpart. We’re really excited to be able to share the sound of such an iconic instrument. Played by Carolan, among others, until the turn of the nineteenth century, the magical sound of its brass-wire strings can now be heard once more. Though everyone is familiar with the image – on the euro coin and a certain brand of stout! – the chance to actually see, hear and play the instrument is all too rare.

The first two Discovery Days take place from 1pm to 4pm in the Large Room in City Hall in Waterford on Saturday 3 March and in the Town Hall Theatre Studio in Galway on 10 March. Concerts cost €15/€10, the talk is free, and the harp workshop is €15/€10. Spaces are limited and the workshops are suitable for adults and children over the age of ten. 

For bookings email info [at] irishharp.org or phone 083 8609677. For more, visit www.irishharp.org

Published on 23 February 2018

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