PW Joyce's Articles on Irish Music, 1904−1912

Patrick Weston Joyce was a highly industrious writer throughout his life, and his many seminal books have been frequently mined by writers of newspaper and magazine articles. But Joyce’s own writing efforts went into books rather than articles, and very few articles written by him are known.

Three such are presented here in facsimile, the first a 1904 contribution of airs, rather than an article proper, which he made to the first number of the journal of the Irish Folk Song Society. This society had recently been founded in London by Alfred Perceval Graves, Charlotte Milligan Fox, Herbert Hughes, and others.  Joyce was one of its sixteen vice-presidents until his death. He was aged 77 in 1904 and was rightly regarded as the doyen of Irish traditional music collectors by the founders. The second Joyce piece, from the same publication later in 1904, discusses the possible ancient provenance of Irish folk songs by comparing Danish airs to Irish airs of the same name. The third, from the same publication in 1912, is a memoir rather than an article proper.


1.  P.W. Joyce, ‘Airs’, Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, vol. 1, no 1 (April 1904), pp. 5−6

2.  P.W. Joyce, ‘Irish and Danish folk music’, Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, vol. 1, nos 2−3 (Jul.−Oct. 1904), pp. 37−40

3.  P.W. Joyce, ‘Some Reminiscences of a Collector of Irish Folk Music (a Communication to Mr. Alfred Perceval Graves by Dr. P.W. Joyce)’, Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society, vol. 11 (Jan.−June 1912), pp. 9−14