Monday, December 10, 2012

Medieval Music

Visitors to medieval Ireland often marvelled at the skill of the Irish at playing music. In Gaelic Ireland, there were at least ten instruments in general use. These were the Cruit (a small harp) and Clairseach (a bigger harp with typically 30 strings), the Timpan (a small string instrument played with a bow or plectrum), the Feadan (a fife), the Buinne (an oboe or flute), the Guthbuinne (a bassoon-type horn), the Bennbuabhal and corn (hornpipes), the Cuislenna (bagpipes - see Great Irish Warpipes), the Stoc and Sturgan (clarions or trumpets), and the Cnamha (castanets). There is also evidence of the fiddle being used in the 8th century.

Image: Galway Early Music Festival takes place every year in the month of May.

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