The Written Note

An exhibition in the Irish Traditional Music Archive of music manuscripts dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, with online computer-mounted scans and interactive music scores, 25 to 30 August 2014, 2.00 to 4.30 pm

While many Irish traditional song-texts, notations of instrumental music, and descriptions of dances have been published over the last 300 years, a great deal of such material remains unpublished in manuscript form. Since its foundation, ITMA has been collecting manuscripts (including typescripts) which document Irish traditional music, and it now has a substantial collection of song notebooks, handwritten music, research notes, index filecards, publicity material, letters and other correspondence, etc.
 
To mark Heritage Week 2014, and the recent award of a grant to ITMA by the Heritage Council for the archival storage and preservation of its music manuscripts, a small but representative collection of these manuscripts will be on display to the general public in the premises of ITMA at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, from 25 to 30 August 2014, 2.00 to 4.30 pm. The exhibition is mounted in ITMA's newly opened Special Collections Room, where the entire manuscript collection is housed.
 
The new room was opened by Colette O'Flaherty, Keeper of Archival Collections in the National Library of Ireland and Chief Herald of Ireland, at a ceremony in 73 Merrion Square on 25 August which was attended by members of the Irish library community and other friends of ITMA.
 
The Special Collections Room also gives online intranet public access to ITMA's entire special collection of original sheet music (almost 4,000 items) and to its special collection of historic digitised sound recordings, including cylinders and 78s (over 1,000 items). It also provides a point of access to all ITMA collections for wheelchair users.
 
The Heritage Week 2014 online details for the exhibition are here
 
With thanks to Colette O'Flaherty, NLI, and to An Chomhairle Oidhreachta / The Heritage Council.

Contents

Royal quick step.  My grandmother [manuscript] / [John Clark?]
Digitised Books

Three pages from the John Clark / John O'Connell manuscript, donated by Colin & Nóirín Hamilton. This is a composite volume containing at least three separate manuscripts. The oldest, marked as '1793' consists of dance instructions and dance tunes, as illustrated.

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A bhuachaill an chúil dualaigh, manuscript / Eugene Curry
Digitised Books

Facsimile of song-text 'A Bhuachaill an Chúil Dualaigh’ and translation in hand of Eugene (O')Curry, as provided by him to George Petrie, c. 1855; transcript of text and translation; printed version ([George Petrie ed.,] Ancient Music of Ireland vol. 2, 1882, pp. 23–25)

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A 19th-Century Sliabh Luachra Manuscript
Printed Collections

An undated but mid-19th-century manuscript which gives an historically important glimpse into an older layer of Sliabh Luachra music. It is one which predates the quadrille-based polkas and slides which now characterise the music of this region on the borders of counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick, and which are thought to have been first introduced later in the same century.

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A 19th-Century Sliabh Luachra Manuscript
Interactive Scores

The 109 interactive music scores on this page have been notated from a 19th-century music manuscript which comes from the Sliabh Luachra border region of counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick.

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Has sorrow thy young days shaded? [manuscript] / Unidentified
Digitised Books

Three pages from a decorative music manuscript-scrapbook of 1889. Most of the music is copied from Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies. Donated by Colm Ó Laoire.

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Blackbird.  [Untitled] jig [manuscript] / John O’Brien
Digitised Books

Two pages from an undated but 20th-century concertina manuscript attributed to a John O'Brien, which uses numeric notation and symbols indicating whether the concertina bellows should be pushed in or pulled out. Donated by the Breathnach family. 

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Pádraig O’Keeffe Manuscripts.  Book One.  Fiddle
Digitised Books

Fiddle manuscript in the hand of Pádraig O'Keeffe (1887–1963), the Kerry music master, and using his numerical tablature notation. One of a number of fiddle and accordion manuscripts donated by Paud Collins, a former pupil of O’Keeffe’s.

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Concert - Gaiety - Ó Doirnín [manuscript] / Michael Tubridy
Digitised Books

Ceoltóirí Cualann set list [written by Michael Tubridy] for concert held in commemoration of the poet Peadar Ó Doirnín (c. 1700–1769), Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, 30 March 1969. Performers on the night included Seán Ó Riada, Seán Ó Sé, Martin Fay, Sean Keane, John Kelly, Paddy Moloney, Seán Potts, Micheal Tubridy, Éamon de Buitléar and Peadar Mercier. This concert was released by Gael Linn on a 1970 LP entitled Ó Riada sa Gaiety, and later released on CD,

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Ceoltoirí Chualann / [Lensmen for Gael Linn]
Images

Photograph of concert held in commemoration of the poet Peadar Ó Doirnín (c. 1700–1769), in Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, 30 March 1969. Performers on the night included Seán Ó Riada, Seán Ó Sé, Martin Fay, Sean Keane, John Kelly, Paddy Moloney, Seán Potts, Micheal Tubridy, Éamon de Buitléar and Peadar Mercier. This concert was released by Gael Linn on a 1970 LP entitled Ó Riada sa Gaiety, and later released on CD.

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Ó Riada sa Gaiety / Liam Miller, designer
Images

Image of LP cover Ó Riada sa Gaiety, published in 1970 by Gael Linn.

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