Blog

The Once and Future Harp Part 2: Revival

Early Revival: Mary O’Hara If it weren’t for Máirín Ní Shéaghdha and the serendipitous happenstance that she chose to learn the harp while in school, perhaps the biggest proponent of Irish harp accompaniment of the twentieth century would never have gained prominence. Dublin-born Mary O’Hara came to learn the harp in Sion Hill Convent school…

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The Once and Future Harp Part 1: 1900–1950

Why the Irish Harp as Accompaniment Instrument? ‘The harp that once through Tara’s hall,/The sound of music shed, /Now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls, /As if that soul were fled’.[1] This quote by the famous poet, musician, and writer Thomas Moore, written in the mid-nineteenth century, spoke of the decline of the native harp…

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The Once and Future Harp: An Introduction

In 2020, I had the privilege of receiving a Fulbright research award to move to Ireland to pursue a Master’s Degree in Irish Traditional Music Performance at Maynooth University, as well as research Irish Harp Accompaniment in the 20th Century. This was a fantastic life-changing opportunity despite the dampening effect the Covid-19 pandemic had on…

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You Know You’re a Professional Harpist When…

Your house is overtaken by music. Sheet music. Music playing. Humming music. So much music. You randomly find harp strings in various bags. Your purse, a tote bag you haven’t used since that one gig last year. You constantly feel guilty about all the music you have yet to learn… or feel guilty about the pieces you used to play but can’t anymore…

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Music Memorization Tips for Harpists

Let’s be honest, for most harpists memorizing music is hard. Really hard. “I want to give up and never memorize any piece of music ever again” hard. I’m here to tell you to know that you are not the only harpist, let alone musician, to feel that way!

To help out the general harpist population I’ve compiled a list of tips that I find useful for memorizing music in any kind of situation.

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Amhrán na Cruite Liner Notes

In 2018 I recorded an entire album of songs in the Irish language with harp accompaniment. For those of you who enjoy the album completely digitally I wanted to make the song translations available to you in electronic form. Click the link below to view the liner notes from my debut album “Amhrán na Cruite.”…

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MA Musings or I Can’t Believe I’ve Moved to Ireland

I figured that I am long overdue in updating this blog of mine for my family, friends, and followers. I know for all of us, it has been a long and weary past six months with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic with no break on the horizon. I hope this email finds you in good health but I’ll say no more or I’ll risk sounding like the prelude of a Jane Austen letter!

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How to Record a Debut Album: Preparation

I thought I’d invite you into my living room (virtually) and let you in on the process I’ve been experiencing this past year from deciding to record an album all the way through releasing it in this coming autumn.

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Song and Harp Kickstarter

I am delighted to announce the launch of my Kickstarter campaign “Ceol agus Cláirseach” or “Song and Harp;” A solo album of Traditional Irish songs in the Irish language with harp accompaniment.

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Round Ireland With a Harp

Suitcase (check!) Harp (check!) Camera (check!) I’m almost ready…

T-minus seventeen days until I hop on a plane and head back to Ireland for the summer. Where has time gone?

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Wedding Ceremony Music Suggestions

A list of suggested pieces from Hannah’s repertoire for each part of the ceremony. This is not a comprehensive list, merely a guide from which a couple might go about choosing the music they want to make their ceremony special.

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