Player Sessions

A harper's 'Danny Boy'

Siobhán Armstrong

75 mins

Level: Intermediate+

Sunday July 25th

15:30 - 16:45 GMT

This event will be available to ticket holders to join at the given date and time

  • Times shown are Irish summer time (GMT+1)
  • Zoom login details will be provided 10 mins prior to the event

Event Overview

Codladh an Óigfhir [‘the young man’s sleep’] is an evocative old Irish song on which one of the most famous modern Irish songs, Oh Danny Boy, is based. It was speedily transcribed, in 1795 or ‘96, by the young Edward Bunting from the harp playing of the aged Dennis O’Hampsay, one of the very last old-style Irish harpers. We will get to a working version with historical fingerings, articulations and string-dampings, to create subtleties of phrasing. We will add the old Irish style of sparse lower-hand that O’Hampsay himself might have used to accompany the melody. If there is time, we will also discuss Bunting’s enigmatic markings indicating melodic ornaments performed by the venerable old harper. And in doing all that, we will unearth a more authentic Danny Boy for harpists!

Materials provided in advance: source facsimile + transcription; an edited instrumental reconstruction with fingering + string-damping indications.

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