The Edward Bunting Digital Harp Collection

In 2016 Music Network gathered ten of Ireland's leading harpers in the studio of the Irish Traditional Music Archive to record tunes collected by Edward Bunting (1773–1843) and published in his 1797 "A General Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland [Volume 1]". These recordings, and the printed volume were to become the source of inspiration for a commission awarded to internationally acclaimed artist Aideen Barry by ITMA and Music Network in 2020. Oblivion / Seachmalltacht / ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᓐᓃᖅᑐᑦ, a multimedia installation opens today Friday 16 September 2022 at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, having premiered at Limerick City Gallery of Art in December 2021.

Bunting Harper Composite 2

ITMA and Music Network are now delighted, during September and October, to share the original 2016 sounds recordings made by Laoise Kelly, Eilís Lavelle, Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Anne-Marie O'Farrell, Mary Louise O'Donnell, Teresa O'Donnell, Úna Ní Fhlannagáin, Dianne Marshall, Tríona Marshall, and Claire O'Donnell.

They were originally recorded in the ITMA Studio by sound engineer Donncha Moynihan (The Rise Studio).

The tunes will be shared in batches following the printed order in the 1797 publication. Each recording below is accompanied by a link to an interactive score and staff notation so you can also learn the tune.

Alternatively you can switch and simply listen to the tunes in a playlist

Edward Bunting Digital Harp Collection Playlist.


BUNTING TUNES 7 – 12 / ÉILIS LAVELLE, HARP


Eilís Lavelle, a harpist from Monaghan, began learning music at a young age. At present she is undertaking a PhD, focusing on eighteenth-century collector Edward Bunting’s collection of music in Queen’s University, Belfast.

In recent years she has gained extensive experience as a performer and teacher of the harp having performed throughout USA, Canada, Europe and further afield. Broadcasts include performances on Tg4, RTÉ Television, BBC Television and Radio, RTÉ Lyric Fm and Raidió na Gaeltachta.

7. Tá an samhradh teacht, air = The summer is coming, air / Éilis Lavelle, harp

Interactive score

7. Tá an samhradh teacht, air = The summer is coming, air

8. Catlin Triail, air = Kitty Tyrrel, air / Éilis Lavelle, harp

Interactive score

8. Catlin Triail, air = Kitty Tyrrel, air

9. A ghilla na sgriub anantrat, air = The beardless boy, air / Éilis Lavelle, harp

Interactive score

9. A ghilla na sgriub anantrat, air = The beardless boy, air

10. Plangstigh Druraidh, air = Planxty Drury, air / Éilis Lavelle, harp

Interactive score

10. Plangstigh Druraidh, air = Planxty Drury, air

11. A Shean Truicha, air = Old Truagh, air / Éilis Lavelle, harp

Interactive score

11. A Shean Truicha, air = Old Truagh, air

12. Mailigh St Seorse, air = Molly St George, air / Éilis Lavelle, harp

Interactive score

12. Mailigh St Seorse, air = Molly St George, air

BUNTING TUNES 1 – 6 / LAOISE KELLY, HARP


Laoise Kelly from Westport, now living on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, is one of Ireland's leading traditional harpers. She has pioneered a new style of driving instrument harp playing, combining the techniques of fingerpads in the bass, and fingernails in the melody, on a thirty-four gut strung Paddy Cafferky harp.

Laoise has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with the foremost artists in Irish music from The Chieftains to Kate Bush, and has recorded three critically acclaimed solo albums.

She is Director of the Achill International Harp Festival, and in 2020 was awarded the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Musician of the year.

1. Ad gcoigreach ma bin tu, air = If to a foreign clime you go, air / Laoise Kelly, harp

Interactive score

1. Ad gcoigreach ma bin tu, air = If to a foreign clime you go, air

2. Colladh an tsionnaidh, air = The foxes sleep, air / Laoise Kelly, harp

Interactive score

2. Colladh an tsionnaidh, air = The foxes sleep, air

3. Speic Seoighach, air = Joice's tune, air / Laoise Kelly, harp

Interactive score

3. Speic Seoighach, air = Joice's tune, air

4. Drioghnan Donn, air = The brown thorn, air / Laoise Kelly, harp

Interactive score

4. Drioghnan Donn, air = The brown thorn, air

5. Bean righ na sibhrach, air = Fairy Queen, air / Laoise Kelly, harp

Interactive score

5. Bean righ na sibhrach, air = Fairy Queen, air

6. A cailin a bhfaca sibh Sorsa?, air = Girls have you seen George?, air / Laoise Kelly, harp

Interactive score

6. A cailin a bhfaca sibh Sorsa?, air = Girls have you seen George?, air



We are looking forward to sharing more Bunting tunes and information in the coming weeks.

For more information on Oblivion / Seachmalltacht / ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔭᐅᔪᓐᓃᖅᑐᑦ at Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 16 September – 30 October 2022, visit the CCI website

For more information on our commission partner Music Network visit their website.

For more information on artist Aideen Barry visit her website.

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