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Ceol Na nUasal Music of the Nobles
Early Gaelic Harp Emporium
NEW Seán Ó Riada & Ceoltoirí Chualann. Ceol na nUasal. LP, record in good condition, sleeve somewhat rubbed, £10.
The Southern Cross St Patrick's Day
An interesting companion to Seán's solo record listed above, this 1967 record "Music of the Nobles" presents compositions of Carolan and O'Catháin sung by Seán O Sé and played by the musicians of Ceoltoirí Chualann accompanied by Seán Ó Riada on the harpsichord (which he used for want of an early Irish harp). The interpretation of songs such as An Chúilfhionn (The Coolin) or Tabhair Dom do Lámh is very different to what we are used to today but must be of great interest for anyone interested in the development of appreciation for early Gaelic harp music. After Seán's death Ceoltoirí Chualann went on to become The Chieftains and Derek Bell was recruited to play harp for them.
For reasons known only to himself, Kind Edward I of England appointed himself a music critic and in 1238 ordered the massacre of the bards and harpists of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Much of the music, including many a musician, was lost. Later, when the Irish harp became an expression of rebellion, Queen Elizabeth I ordered her enforcers to "hang the harpers". Today a popular brand of beer in Ireland is called "Harp".
The legends and knowledge were passed on by word of mouth. Edward Bunting is credited with reviving the harp. In 1969 an Irish group, Ceoltoiri Chualann, produced an album titled Ceol na nUasal ("Music of the Nobles") and reintroduced the music to a modern audience. The popularity of recent Irish musicals has also played a large role in this revival.
See Musicians: Sean O'Riada
See Albums: Ding Dong Mise Eire (I Am Ireland) O'Riada's Farewell