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Free Colloquium: A lecture by Irish musician and author Fintan Vallely

January 10, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Fintan Vallely - Bodhran in Irish Music

Clattering feet and thumping the bodhrán – the percussive impulse in Irish music.

Join Irish musician, writer and researcher Fintan Vallely for a free lecture on the bodhran in Irish music. In this heavily-illustrated talk explore the (surprisingly short) history of the popular Irish drum, the bodhrán, and how it came to join Irish dance as a percussive element in Irish music.


Fintan Vallely is a musician, writer, lecturer and researcher on Traditional music. He was the author of the first tutor for Irish flute in 1986 (new edition 2010) and has been writing as a journalist and researcher in the music since 1990. He is editor of the 2011 encyclopedia Companion to Irish Traditional Music – a copy of which is available in our McKiernan Library. Vallely has taught Irish music at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the University of Ulster. Currently he lectures on Traditional music at Dundalk Institute of Technology and at Trinity College Dublin.


Full synopsis of Clattering feet and thumping the bodhrán:


Irish instrumental music is historically most associated with the harp; bagpipes have been around in various forms from much the same time, and, later, an indigenous fiddle was in use. The voice had a huge role in creating melodic style before and since these, and after the early 1800s modern instruments appear: first flutes, then accordions and concertinas. Since any form of percussion is practically invisible, we can only assume from images that that impulse was fulfilled by dancing on hard and resonant surfaces. Since the 1960s, that foot percussion has been added to by the frame-drum known as ‘bodhrán. Yet the bodhran in Irish music is somehow generally assumed to be as old as the hills … In this heavily-illustrated talk Fintan Vallely explores literature, folklore, and imagery to suggest that the bodhrán is, in fact, our newest instrument, the Irish version of the imported tambourine – the name by which it was known universally until the 1960s.


January 10, 2020
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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