Added to the RIAM Library collection this month, the following books all have an Irish theme:

The companion to Irish traditional music / Fintan Vallelly

This second edition is not only revised but also greatly expanded, and has much new information, including material never before printed and unavailable elsewhere. In 1,750 individual articles The Companion gives A-Z coverage of song, dance, instruments, bands, storytelling, technology, tunes and style, composition, organisations and promotion, education and transmission, collectors and archives, revival, broadcasting and recording, English, Scottish and Welsh music and song, and music in all Irish counties, Europe and the USA. The book is uniquely backed by the provision of a parallel website – www.companion.ie – which guides structured exploration of the text and fully integrates it with the existing vast and magnificent range of traditional music internet resources.

A collection of the most celebrated Irish tunes proper for the violin, German flute or hautboy, Dublin 1724 / John & William Neal; facsimile edited with an introduction by Nicholas Carolan)

(Dublin: Irish Traditional Music Archive, 2011)

Music has been performed in oral tradition in Ireland now for some ten thousand years, but it was 1724 before the first notated collection of Irish music appeared. Consisting of forty-nine tunes and far older than any surviving manuscript collection, A Collection of the Most Celebrated Irish Tunes Proper for the Violin, German Flute or Hautboy was published that year in the yard of Christ Church Cathedral in central Dublin by the musical-instrument makers John and William Neal, a father and son of obscure origins who dominated the Dublin music trade in the first half of the eighteenth century.

All the days of his life : Eddie Butcher in his own words : songs, stories and memories of Magilligan, Co Derry / Hugh Shields

(Dublin: Irish Traditional Music Archive, 2011)

This illustrated record of the life and songs of Eddie Butcher (1900–1980), an outstanding singer from Magilligan, Co Derry, brings back a vanished way of rural life and verbal entertainment. Hugh Shields (1929–2008) was teaching in Coleraine when he first met Eddie in Magilligan in 1953. Their musical friendship continued until Eddie’s death. During this period, Hugh recorded and published a large repertory of songs from Eddie. The words and notated music of 67 unpublished songs, together with stories and recollections, are given in this book. It is accompanied by three CDs with Eddie’s singing of all the songs.

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