IRISH FOLK MUSIC

A FASCINATING HOBBY

with some accounts of allied subjects

including

O'FARRELL'S TREATISE ON THE IRISH OR UNION PIPES

AND

TOUHEY'S HINTS TO AMATEUR PIPERS

BY

CAPT. FRANCIS O'NEILL

COMPILER AND PUBLISHER OF

The Music of Ireland;

The Dance Music of Ireland;

O'Neill's Irish Music for the Piano or Violin.

ILLUSTRATED


“Music, miraculous rhetoric, that speakest sense.

Without a tongue. excelling eloquence:

With what ease might thy errors be excused.

Wert than as truly lov'd as thou'rt abused.

Though dull souls neglect, and some reprove thee.

Thy sway I honor, because angels love thee!”


CHICAGO

THE REGAN PRINTING HOUSE

1910

For Sale: LYON & HEALY, Chicago

COPYRIGHT 1910.

BY

CAPT. FRANCIS O'NEILL


PREFACE.

No alluring prospect of gain or glory prompted the preparation or publication of this series of sketches, dealing with the writer's research and experience while indulging in the fascinating hobby of collecting Irish Folk Music.

That much miscellaneous information of value to those interested in the subject had been acquired in the many years devoted to it is quite obvious, and it was not alone in response to the persuasion of men of prominence in the Irish Revival, but the desire to give publicity to certain features of the study of which the public had but a limited knowledge that the work was undertaken.

Originally written as a series of articles for a periodical of wide circulation; it was found that confining them within necessary limits would sacrifice to expediency much of whatever interest the subject may possess, especially when extended over a period of fifteen months. Hence their appearance in book form.

In those days of astounding discovery and achievement when the irresistible attractions of the newspapers and the magazines compel attention, and ordinarily satisfy our literary longing, few books but those of uncommon brilliance or special merit, can be expected to arrest public attention or attain profitable circulation.

Believing that it is our duty to prove our faith by our works, this unique volume is contributed to a cherished cause in the hope that while it may not hll a long-felt want, it may at least stimulate an interest in the music of Erin. Which though neglected, yet can excite the most tender and refined, as well as the most powerful emotions of which the human mind is susceptible.

Francis O'Neill



NOVEMBER, 1909.


CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Home Influences and Experiences-Love of Music and the Faculty of Memorizing Tunes, a Source of Perennial Happiness 7

CHAPTER II.

Acquaintance With Musical Irishmen and Scotchmen in Chicago-Enlarged Opportunities for Acquiring Irish Folk Melodies - Reducing Them to Musical Notation Commenced 28

CHAPTER III

How the Undertaking Developed, and Led to Important Results Not Originally Contemplated 47

CHAPTER IV.

Stories of Tunes With a History-Airs 65

CHAPTER V.

Stories of Tunes With a History-Dance Tunes 86

CHAPTER VI.

Stories of Tunes With a History-Dance Tunes-Continued. . 109

CHAPTER VII.

Diversity of Titles-Tunes With More Than One Name 128

CHAPTER VIII.

Duplication of Titles-Different Tunes With Same Name 145

CHAPTER IX.

Tunes of Disputed Origin-Claimed as Scotch or English 163

CHAPTER X.

Curious and Incomprehensible Titles-Corrupt and Grotesque Irish Names 187

CHAPTER XI.

Amusing Incidents and Experiences 208

CHAPTER XII.

Sketches of Early Collections of Irish Music 231

CHAPTER. XIII.

Sketches of Collections of lrish Music Commencing With Moore's Irish Melodies; Also, Miscellaneous Collections Containing Irish Music 246

CHAPTER XIV.

The Decline of Irish Music 264

CHAPTER XV.

The Past and Future of Irish Music 277

CHAPTER. XVI.

Dr. P. W. Joyce 's Estimate of the Total Number of Irish Airs Questioned 293

CHAPTER XVII.

Remarks on Irish Dances 296

CHAPTER XVIII.

Remarks on the Evolution of the Irish or Union Pipes 308

APPENDIX A.

O'Farrel1's Treatise and Instructions on the Irish or Union Pipes 320

APPENDIX B.

Hints to Amateur Pipers, by Patriek J. Touhey 332

APPENDIX C.

Illustrations of How Time, Taste and Development Have Varied Irish Folk Music 338