Mudcat Café message #3838615 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159372   Message #3838615
Posted By: Felipa
13-Feb-17 - 07:08 AM
Thread Name: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Subject: RE: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Keberoxu, I once interviewed Máire Ní Chathasaigh and her sister Nollaig Casey about women instrumentalists in traditional Irish music. The main things they had to say was that women had long played instruments in the household, but as the music moved in to the pub and the stage it was more of a man's thing. They thought that generally men were more inclined to promote THEMSELVES - "watch/hear me play this music beautifully" - and women more to present the MUSIC - "This is beautiful music, listen to it." They thought that was because girls were taught not to make a show of themselves. They also said that in couples were one person played at session level, it was more the done thing for a man to play while the woman sat listening (or stayed home) than the other way around. Not surprising then that both Máire and Nollaig married professional musicians. To be honest I don't remember which of the sisters said what, but they seemed to concur. We also talked a bit about how certain instruments may be seen as men's instruments and women's instruments (harp and concertina have been seen as either men's and women's instruments in different times and places). I think it was Nollaig who played uilleán pipes in her youth, and there were a few girls in Cork learning pipes together at the time. But Máire never mentioned about the sitting position for playing the harp. That would have been a great line for the interview!!