A new book, Harp Studies, co-edited by DkIT music lecturer, Dr Helen Lawlor and Director of the Irish World Academy of Music at Dance (UL), Dr Sandra Joyce was recently launched by Dr Nicholas Carolan. The book launches took place at the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin and at the University of Limerick on the 29th and 30th November, 2016. Harp studies, published by Four Courts Press (Dublin) presents new research on the Irish harp with perspectives from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, musicology, history, arts practice, folklore and cultural studies. Themes explored in this volume include iconography, reception history, diaspora, identity, spirituality and politics. Taking an expansive view of the harp through history and music, these essays individually engage with the variety of ways in which the harp has been interpreted and implicated in Irish culture, politics and music from the 9th century to the present day.
There are seventeen contributors to this book from variety of institutions, many of whom are also musicians; Emily Cullen (Moore Institute, NUIG), Paul Dooley (UL), Eibhlís Farrell (DkIT), Ann Heymann (ind.), Sandra Joyce (UL), Helen Lawlor (DkIT), Colette Moloney (Waterford IT), Michelle Mulcahy (UL), Mary Louise O’Donnell (ind.), Ruan O’Donnell (UL), Anne-Marie O’Farrell (DIT, QUB), Adrian Scahill (MU), Harry White (UCD), Aaron Lawless (ind. artist), Niamh NicGhabhann (UL), Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin (UL) & Helen Phelan (UL).
The launch in Dublin featured a musical performance by Anne-Marie O’Farrell, who performed a transcription of J.S. Bach’s Chromatic Fantasy for Irish harp. Traditional band, The Bonny Men also performed on the night. UL students provided music at the launch in Limerick in addition to a performance by co-editor Helen Lawlor, Paddy Glackin, Séamus Ó Rocháin, Eamonn McGivney and John Kelly.
Harp studies is available to purchase from all good bookshops or online at: http://www.fourcourtspress.ie/books/2016/harp-studies/