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Andrew Lawrence-King is teaching and performing at the

summer school of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland

at the Kilkenny Music School 13th-15th August 2014.


Scoil runs from 13th-19th August. .

See below for detailed information on Andrew' s Concert and Classes

Also see below for free download of class materials.


Study Early Harps with ALK here                              Scoil website here

ALK @ Scoil na gCláirseach 2014

Scott's Lament (1599)

Andrew Lawrence-King

Baroque Irish harp



Wednesday 13th August



In Memoriam 


Pat O’Brien, lute and guitar guru, was also a charismatic influence on the revival of historical harps. In 1986 he contributed to the pioneering Early Harp conference in Basel, and over the next few years taught at the influential Bremen Harps & Lutes events. He was a founder member of The Harp Consort, appearing in many concerts and on the CDs Luz y Norte, Carolan’s Harp and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. With the New York Continuo Collective he facilitated a creative dialogue between harpists, lutenists and singers. He also taught at the Julliard School.


Most of today’s leading early harpists and lutenists benefitted from Pat’s insightful and authoritative teaching. Many of us are privileged to have known him as a friend, a larger-than-life character whose powerful presence we sadly miss, even whilst the inspiration of his work lives on.



Irish Images, Highland Humours


Around the year 1700, Irish harpers inherited traditional repertoires - joyful, sad and soothing – and a relatively new custom of dedicating their pieces (whether newly composed, or just a fresh setting of an older melody) to many different patrons as they travelled all around the country. Ancient Gaelic mythology gave music itself powers to mediate with the Otherworld, conjuring up victory in battle or mystic encounters with the Fairy Folk. And throughout Europe, baroque literature continued to associate dreams, death and mysterious journeys. “To sleep, perchance to dream” might lead a listener to the Otherworld, “that undiscovered country, from whose borne no traveller returns.”


Nevertheless, historical sources combine awareness of “the mystic powers that in blest numbers dwell” with down-to-earth practicality. To appeal to a wide market, harp tunes are published also “for the violin, German flute or hautboy” (Neal, 1724). Books for lutenist and violinists offer tantalising hints of what contemporary harpists might have played. We can trace backwards through time within one culture, or we can explore period cultures side-by-side in the historical present. And what we see in each historical source will depend on the lens with which we view it.


Tonight’s tunes tell the traveller’s tales from three legendary journeys. A traditional story links Carolan’s song for his childhood sweetheart, Bridget Cruise, with a midsummer Dream and the Fairies on the hill. We ramble around Scotland in the company of Duncan Burnett, Carolan and an anonymous gypsy. Finally, we stir up an imagined vision of the Highlands from the earliest publication of Scotch tunes.


 Humouring the Harp

Where are the Emotions circa 1700?


Thursday 14th August 


  • Where’s the feeling in an old tune?

  • How can we make the Music dance?

  • How can we make the Harp speak?

  • How can we let the Passions flow?


In this Workshop, Andrew Lawrence-King leads a

hands-on-harp exploration of historical emotions

and period philosophy of the passions, considering

how they might influence playing to today’s audiences.



Music for Classes (Free Download)

Two Variation Sets from the Caledonian Pocket Companion

and a Port from the Straloch lute MS



Burlesque on Black Joak here


Katherine Ogie here


A Port here

Listen to Andrew &

The Harp Consort play the

Jigg to James Betagh

These two Carolan tunes are edited from one of the earliest sources of his music, a mid-18th-century print that has been tentatively identified with various known publications but is now known as the Carolan Fragment.


Read more about the Carolan Fragment via Simon Chadwick's website

Gaelic Harp Info  here.


Listen to the computer play Fairy Queen in the version from the Carolan Fragment 

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