Walker: Memoirs of Irish Bards

Pdf Walker, Joseph C. Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards. London: published for T. Payne & son at the Mews-gate, and G.G.J. and J. Robinson, Pater-Noster-Row, 1786
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Joseph Cooper Walker’s Historical Memoirs of Irish Bards was first printed in 1786 and was one of the earliest historical works written on Irish music. The preface is signed ‘Dublin, Treasury-Chambers, May 15, 1786’. It is closely followed by A General Collection of Ancient Irish Music (1796), the first work by the famous collector of Irish music, Edward Bunting.
Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards was later published in a two volume work (1818).

Walker gives a history of Irish bards, together with poetry, music and musical instruments. Throughout the book, the histories are complimented by extracts from old Irish legends and poems, as well as some sketches of musical instruments.

An appendix of letters, essays and memoirs appears at the end of the book. Some of those included are: letters to the author concerning the Irish harp and the style of Irish music by Rev. Edward Ledwich; an essay by William Beauford on “the Poetical Accents of the Irish”; an essay in Italian by Signor Canonico Orazio Maccari di Cortona on an ancient marble statue of a bagpiper, which is to compliment Walker’s history of the bagpipe; an essay by William Beauford on the Irish harp.

A short selection of Irish melodies is also included.

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