On Saturday I was at Hospitalfield house, near Arbroath. This amazing 19th century country house is now conserved and run as an arts centre. A recent project was to restore the Erard Grecian double-action pedal harp that has been at the house since about 1830.
Saturday’s event was an inaugural concert for the newly-restored harp, and I was asked to give the pre-concert talk on the harp and its place in Scottish music. Continue reading Erard Grecian harp
Yesterday I gave my lecture on the clàrsach or Gaelic harp, to the undergraduate students on the Scottish Music degree course at the University of St Andrews.
As is my wont nowadays, I filmed the lecture for you, but there was a mix up with my battery charging, and the camera died 40 minutes in, so you are missing the last 11 or 12 minutes.
At Scoil na gCláirseach last month I presented a lecture and a workshop on the medieval Gaelic harp traditions. The lecture outlined my recent work on the setup and tuning of the medieval Gaelic harps, while the workshop later in the week explored the different strands of evidence for medieval Gaelic music.
On Wednesday I attended an interesting panel discussion, part of a series “In Numbers”, “on the ways in which mathematics interacts with the humanities”.
On Thursday morning I have to give a lecture on the harp traditions in Scotland, as part of the MU2002 Scottish Music undergraduate course.
It is pretty difficult to summarise all aspects of the harp in Scottish music in just 50 minutes!
While I was riding on the bus to Dundee and back for my weekly harp class this afternoon, I listened to Professor Tom Devine on the death and reinvention of Scotland – not of the actual place or people of course, but of the idea of the nation.
This was a lecture that was given at my old college last June. Devine spoke mostly about 18th and 19th century history, and I found a number of his points were very pertinent to the current groundswell and shifts in the constitutional settlement. Ideas about the pace of change in Scottish society, the enlightenment, the relationship between the Central Belt and the rest of the country. The way in which the Scottish settlement was seen as different from the Irish.
Worth listening to if you have 50 minutes! Download as video or audio from Oxford Podcasts.
You can now get a video of the entire one-hour lecture plus a PDF of the handout with lots of further reading references, from the DIAS website