Remembering Bunting Festival at QUB

By Gemma Creagh - Last update


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Queen’s University Belfast, in conjunction with Dún Uladh, are participating in the Remembering Bunting Festival this year. This weekend of FREE events will honour the great Irish music collector Edward Bunting (1773 – 1843).

  • Date: 8/02/2019 – 10/02/2019
  • Time: 11:00PM – 5:00PM
  • Location: Please see individual event
  • Price: – Free – all are welcome
  • Audience: – All

About Edward Bunting

At nineteen, Bunting was employed to transcribe the music of the Irish harpists at the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792. The tradition of the ancient Gaelic harpists was dying out and the festival, and Bunting’s commission, was an attempt to rejuvenate and preserve the tradition.

For Bunting it inspired a life long interest in collecting and arranging Irish folk music and song.  He published 3 influential books on Irish music in 1796, 1809 and 1840. The manuscripts themselves are of much more interest to researchers; partly because so much was left was unpublished, and partly because the music is truer to its original form.

Bunting & QUB

At Queen’s University Belfast, their  Special Collections hold these unique manuscripts, the earliest is the notebook upon which he transcribed the tunes played in the Belfast Harp Festival (MS 4/29)

The weekend includes many other musical events and talks, a number of which are being hosted by the Music Department in Queen’s. See below for all of the events, and through the link for more info Remembering Bunting 2019.

Remembering Bunting Festival Details & Events

08 Feb: Harty Room, Music, Queen’s University Belfast

  • 11:00 Dr. Sarah McCleave (QUB): “A Tale of Two Tunes: Bunting and Irish Music History”
  • 11:45 Simon Cruikshank (Historical Harp Society of Ireland): “Harp in the Era of Bunting”
  • 13:00 Lunchtime Concert: Siobhán Armstrong (HHSI)
  • 14:00-15:00: Workshop: Sylvia Crawford (HHSI).
  • To register as a participant in the workshop, contact ceol@dunuladh.ie

08 Feb: Reading Room, Special Collections and Archives, McClay Library, QUB

  • 15:15 Louisa Costelloe (QUB): An Introduction to the Bunting Manuscripts (with Exhibition)
  • This event is FREE, but places are limited. To book a place, contact: specialcollections@qub.ac.uk

08 Feb: Skainos Centre, Newtonards Road, Belfast

  • 19:00 Festival Launch
  • 21:00 Music Session

09 Feb: St Mary’s Hall, Chapel Lane, Belfast

  • 13:00 Dr. Conor Caldwell Lecture-Recital: “Bunting Tunes Then & Now”

09 Feb: St George’s Church, High Street, Belfast

  • 19:00 Concert with Craobh Rua, Siobhán Armstrong, Katy Graham Harp Ensemble, Aoife, Grupa Cheoil Turas

10 Feb: Coláiste Feirste, Falls Road, Belfast

  • 12:00-14:.00 Workshops
  • 14:00-15:00 Music Session
  • For further information, contact ceol@dunuladh.ie

10 Feb: Cultúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich, Falls Road, Belfast

  • 16:00 Festival Finale Session

Gemma Creagh

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