PW Joyce Irish Music Microsite

An online microsite presenting the published and unpublished work on Irish music of Patrick Weston Joyce (1827–1914), the Co Limerick educationalist, popular historian and writer on Irish placenames, and one of the great collectors of Irish traditional music.

The microsite currently includes

  • Introductions to PW Joyce and to his work in Irish traditional music
  • Facsimiles of his contributions to the published collections of George Petrie, 1855−1905
  • Facsimiles of his four published collections, 1873−1909
  • Facsimiles of his three unpublished manuscripts, 1858−1914 (courtesy National Library of Ireland)
  • Facsimiles of his ballad-sheet collection, 19th century (courtesy Dublin City Library & Archive)
  • Interactive music scores for audio playback and printing of more than 1,600 melodies contained in the published and unpublished collections (created by ITMA staff, 2014).

These are all accessible from the menu on the left. Further sections will be added to the microsite at intervals during the course of this Joyce centenary year of 2014.

Latest Addition: PW Joyce Interactive Music Scores

486 melodies from NLI manuscripts 2982 and 2983

Facsimile scans of these manuscripts are already available on the microsite, courtesy of the NLI, and 486 melodies now been set from them by ITMA staff as interactive music scores for audio playback and online reading. Each score is also available in PDF format for printing.

The NLI MSS contain in all some 878 songs and melodies. About half of these had come from his childhood recollections or had been collected by him in his native Co Limerick in the 1840s and 1850s, or had been sent to him by various correspondents from all over Ireland. This half constitutes the tranche of interactive scores presented here.

Joyce himself had selected and copied the remaining half of the melodies in the two NLI manuscripts from the large manuscript collections of four other major collectors: William Forde, John Edward Pigot, William Elliott Hudson, and James Goodman. As these four important collections require separate editions, the tunes drawn from them by Joyce have not been included in these interactive scores.

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