Music and Image – Early Medieval Ireland c. 700 @ Galway Early Music Festival 2019
Performers Ancient Music Ireland
Surviving musical instruments from the Early Medieval period are rare in Europe. At this time in our history written composition was in its early development. Sources for images are contained in early bibles or on stone carvings. Ireland is fortunate to proudly hold two very impressive musical instruments on the archaeological record from this time. For Galway Early Music 2019, Ancient Music Ireland will present reproductions dating to 700 AD, including a beating reed wind instrument made of yew called the ‘Bekan’ horn from Co. Mayo and a pair of lip reed ‘Psalter horns’ from the River Erne, Co. Fermanagh also made of yew wood.
Both instrument types are adorned with spirals and bands of shining bronze. This glimpse into Early Medieval Ireland will show the complexity of how these wood wind instruments were made and how they were played. Using imagery from the ‘David Scene’ on the 8th Century Vespasian Psalter and related instruments from the earlier Iron Age in Ireland, an inimitable window is opened into the otherwise largely unknown domain of music at this time in Ireland.