July 23rd - 29th 2022

Illustrated Talks

Ruaraidh Dall Morison at Dunvegan castle: a Scottish harper’s life in song

James Ruff

60 mins

Level: All

Monday July 25th

12:00 - 13:00 GMT +1

Event Overview

Ruaraidh Mac Mhuirich [Roderick Morison] (c. 1656–1714) was one of the last, and best-known, clan harpers in Scotland. Known as ‘the blind harper’, he was clan harper to chief Iain Breac MacLeod (1637–1693) at the MacLeod clan seat at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye. His songs continue to have a living presence in the Gaelic song tradition today, and provide a window into the life of a 17th-century Gaelic harper, as well as showing the abundant presence of the Gaelic arts at clan courts in Scotland prior to the fall of the Gaelic order in 1746. During this lecture / voice and harp recital, you will hear a first-hand account of clan life at Dunvegan through three of Ruaraidh’s best-known songs, sung in Scottish Gaelic to the melodies associated with them historically. 

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