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Andrew Lawrence-King is teaching and performing at the

International Harp Festival in Termonfeckin, near Dublin

on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.


The Festival runs from 29th June to 4th July.

See below for detailed information on Andrew' s Concert and Workshop.

Also see below for free download of workshop materials.


Study Early Harps with ALK here                              Festival website here

ALK @ Termonfeckin

Scott's Lament (1599)

Andrew Lawrence-King

Baroque Irish harp



Wednesday 2nd July


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. An evocative prelude for the harp (played in 1792, but traced back a century or more) also serves to ‘Try if  it is in tune”. To appeal to a wide market, harp tunes are published also “for the violin, German flute or hautboy” (Neal, 1724). And the elegiac title of Carolan’s Farewell to Music was attached to a fiddle-tune that Turlough might have played as a “Farewell” any time he left a house on his ‘rambles’, as well as at his deathbed.


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. William Forde’s unpublished manuscript catalogues the meandering progress through dozens of variants of a tune known to English-speakers as Tommy McCullagh: “I am asleep, and don’t waken me”. Finally, we embark on an imaginary trip to Scotland, rambling with Carolan amongst lilts, rants and reels.


Download the complete Carolan's Harp program here


 The Good, The Bad & The Wildly Luxuriant

Historically Informed Harping circa 1700


Wednesday 2nd July


What did Turlough O’Carolan like in a tune?

What were the priorities for a c1700 harper?

Where’s the feeling in an old tune?


What is Time?

How should we play Ornaments?

What is good Style?

What about the Bass?


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 source-materials and considers how they might influence playing to today’s audiences.


Please prepare these pieces, and bring to the Workshop your harp and the sheet music for:  


  1. Carolan Fairy Queen                      (free download below)

  2. Carolan Jigg to James Betagh      (free download below)

  3. Any piece by Carolan,  of your own choice

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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