The Stephen Grier Manuscripts

Stephen Grier (c.1824–1894), a native of north Longford, moved to Newpark, Bohey, Gortletteragh, in south Leitrim in 1852. An uilleann piper and fiddle player, he compiled a collection of over 1,000 melodies, transcribed mainly in the 1880s.

In collaboration with the current custodian of the manuscripts, Hugh Maguire, ITMA have digitised all ten books and they are now available on the ITMA website.

Stephen Grier Manuscripts

These manuscripts have been digitised to a high resolution and presented in a IIIF viewer, allowing you to view each page in incredible detail.

The tunes have been indexed to allow you to navigate to the tune of your choice

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This book was written by Mr. Stephen Grier, Newpark, County of Leitrim, and Parish of Gortletteragh, dated 25th May, 1883
Book 3

Each of the 1,153 tunes has been transcribed using music notation software and made available on the ITMA website as an interactive score.  These scores are a learning resource that allow you to hear the music, loop through a section and slow down or speed up the music without changing the key.

With each score there is also an option to download the music as a PDF.  It is also possible to download each book in PDF format.

For many years this collection has served as a valuable source of tunes for musicians in the area.  It features many tunes that are local to the area and also an eclectic mix of Irish traditional music and music that was heard in Ireland at the time from other parts.  The recently launched Furls of Music: The Michael McNamara Sound Collection features tunes from the Grier collection.

For more information you can read Jackie Small's description of the manuscript.  This was delivered at the initial launch of nine of the Stephen Grier Manuscripts at the Willie Clancy Summer School 2019.   

Written & presented by:

Treasa Harkin & Maeve Gebruers

With thanks to:

Hugh Maguire, Séamus McGuire, Fr. John Quinn, Conor Ward, and Jackie Small for their support in bringing this project to fruition.