Gatherings of Irish Harpers: 1780-1840
The 1792 Harpers' Meeting in Belfast was indeed an important event in the history and life of the town. Belfast's reformers and radicals desired a better future, but they also shared an interest in the past. Through their support for the few surviving harpers, they hoped future generations might benefit from the survival of a tradition and an instrument, music, language, and practises that were all fast disappearing. These were challenging times: a period of aspirational ideals, new rights, new freedoms set against the contagious atmosphere of revolution in the US, France, and Poland. The rise of sectarianism, the violence of the 1798 Rebellion, the loss of the Irish Parliament - all led to a sharp reduction in progressive developments and in funding for unfashionable causes. Thank goodness for the Irish soldiers in India who raised money to support a harp school in Belfast for a further 20 years, until once again the money ran out. And thank you Edward Bunting for not giving up.
- Irish Pages
- 112 pages
- Prose: non-fiction