Mudcat Café message #3785505 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159372   Message #3785505
Posted By: keberoxu
15-Apr-16 - 03:03 PM
Thread Name: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Subject: RE: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
The name of Seán O'Riada has surfaced a time or two on this thread. Of course he is like an apostle/evangelist for the cause of Irish traditional music, and near the end of his life he was exploiting mass media, as it was available to him, to preach his gospel.

His series for television is beyond my acquaintance, however "Our Musical Heritage" was in time packaged into the form of a book -- perhaps O'Riada was deceased by then.

O'Riada does not appear to use the term "spinning Eileens." He does, however, take note of that adaptation of the Irish harp to the convents, drawing rooms, and finally the banquet/cabaret circuit. And one name in Irish harp teaching/playing is mentioned. It's hard to pull this up online, but I will quote what I may,

from "Our Musical Heritage", Seá O'Riada.

"At the end of the [19th] century, attempts were made once more, mainly by the infant Gaelic League, to get [the true ancient harping tradition] going again, but by this time the nature of the tradition had been forgotten. It was not until the early [nineteen-]twenties, when a Miss Townsend of Castletownsend in County Cork put her mind to it, that any progress was made. To revive the true harping tradition was impossible: instead, a style of harping was developed which was based mainly on Welsh harping, quite different from the Irish style."

Funduireacht an Riadaigh i gcomhar le Dolmen Press, 1982