Traditional Music and Song

june, 2022

thu16jun8:30 pmSaved from the WreckageNotes and Narratives8:30 pm Na Píobairí Uilleann, 15 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1

Event Details

The latest edition of Na Píobairí Uilleann’s Notes and Narratives features an illustrated talk by Nicholas Carolan titled Saved from the Wreckage: The Pre-Famine Traditional Music of William Forde and his Contemporaries. The talk will include live contributions from piper, Seán Potts, and fiddler, Liam O’Connor.

William Forde (1797–1850), a native of Cork city, divided his professional life between Cork and London. As a performer he specialised in concert flute and piano. He was also a composer and arranger, a promoter and musical director of concerts and festivals, a teacher of music and singing, an editor of numerous collections of classical and popular music for London publishers, and the author of a range of instructional manuals and theoretical works on music.


But from 1840 Forde was increasingly attracted to the collection and study of Irish traditional music. Collecting at first in Munster, he later wrote music from Irish singers and musicians in London, and undertook a major collecting trip to Connacht during the Famine year of 1846. His collection of Irish melodies, the largest made until his time, remained unpublished at his death.


The Irish Traditional Music Archive recently published The Forde Collection, a collection of 922 pieces from the William Forde Manuscripts in the Royal Irish Academy, edited by Nicholas Carolan and Caitlín Uí Éigeartaigh. About two thirds of the melodies are the airs of songs in Irish and English; the remainder are mainly jigs, harp tunes, marches, work-tunes and keens. The book also includes essays on the collector and the editorial procedures of the edition, appendices and indexes. For details on the book, see


Admission for the talk costs €10 at the door (or €5 for students/unwaged/retired). For those unable to attend in person, it will also be livestreamed for free through the NPU’s online channel NPU-TV available on


(Thursday) 8:30 pm


Na Píobairí Uilleann

15 Henrietta Street, Dublin 1


Na Píobairí Uilleann

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