Latest News from the Irish Traditional Music Archive

3 September 2014

Here is the latest listing from the Irish Traditional Music Archive of 

Recent Publications and Acquisitions in Irish Traditional Music 

up-to-date online discography, bibliography and filmography.

The listing of publications contains recently published sound recordings, books, theses and articles, and serials.  All of the items listed are immediately available for reference, free of charge, to users of the Archive in its premises at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. In addition, notice is given of other acquisitions that have been added to the Archive's collections and will be available when processed. Publishers are asked to send copies of new publications and publicity materials to ITMA at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 ( for possible listing.

The Written Note: Music Manuscripts in the Irish Traditional Music Archive.

This exhibition of manuscripts of Irish traditional music, which date from the 19th and 20th centuries, ran both physically in the Archive and online on its website for the duration of National Heritage Week, 25–30 August 2014, and also for the well-attended Merrion Square Open Day on 30 August.  The exhibition featured original manuscripts alongside computer-mounted scans and interactive music scores. The online version will continue to be presented online here. It is the subject of a recent Europeana Sounds blog, an ITMA contribution to ES which is available here.
In addition, to mark Heritage week and the recent award of funding from the Heritage Council, ITMA has dedicated a new space to give access to its special collections, particularly to its holdings of manuscripts. This Special Collections Room was officially opened by Colette O'Flaherty, Keeper of Archival Collections in the National Library of Ireland and Chief Herald of Ireland, on Monday 25 August, and was attended by members of the Irish library community and by friends of ITMA.
Come West along the Road: End of an Era

The longest-running ever television series on Irish traditional music will come to the end of a 20-year run on 9 September 2014 when the final programme in the current series of Siar an Bóthar will be shown on TG4​ (with continuing availability for some weeks on the TG4 Player).
Siar an Bóthar is the Irish-language version of the RTÉ archival television series on traditional music Come West along the Road, which first began transmission in September 1994. A total of 28 series have been broadcast since in English and Irish, each of 13 parts, with footage being drawn mainly from the RTÉ Television Programme Library but also from UTV, BBC Northern Ireland, and other institutional and private sources. The resulting 364 programmes have brought contextualised historical performances by over 3,000 musicians, singers and dancers to the screen, ranging in time from 1929 to 1994.

Both series have been researched and presented since their inception by Nicholas Carolan, Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin. Its latest series had a real-time audience of up to 240,000 viewers per episode, and in addition an audience throughout the world on the RTÉ Player and the TG4 Player. Four DVDs of highlights from the series have been published by RTÉ.  Three are available from the ITMA shop.
And also:

  • New Cooperation: ITMA is participating in two upcoming events in September: 1/ As part of the Festival d’Ile de France, whose theme this year is ‘Taboos – Music and Prohibition’, ITMA Director Nicholas Carolan and Dublin singer Barry Gleeson will be making a joint lecture-recital presentation on ‘Irish Songs of Rebellion’ in the Irish Cultural Centre, Paris, at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 17 September; and 2/ As part of a two-day Irish Song Symposium Nicholas Carolan will be giving a plenary lecture on ‘The Irish-Language Songs of Patrick Lynch’ in Queen’s University Belfast at 11.00 am on Friday 19 September.

  • Social Media: The best way of following ITMA’s day-today activities is on Twitter @ITMADublin as well as on the frequently updated ITMA Facebook page.

  • Interactive Music Scores: The latest scores, 109 melodies from the 19th-century Curtin Sliabh Luachra manuscript, are available here, and all 4,605 ITMA interactive music scores are available here.

  • ITMA in France: A new joint project of Rencontres Musicales Irlandaises de Tocane, one of the longest-running of the festivals of Irish traditional music which take place outside Ireland, and ITMA was launched in Tocane St Apre, south-west France, on 23 July. The aim of the project is to document the festival’s 24 years to date. Read more…

  • Europeana Sounds: ITMA is now a member of a pan-European consortium, led by the British Library, which is engaged in Europeana Sounds, a European Commission-funded audio project. This is ITMA’s first blog on the ES site and this is its second blog.

  • PW Joyce Microsite: The latest addition to our PW Joyce Irish Music Microsite is a section entitled ‘Joyce’s Ballad Sheets’, published in partnership with the Dublin City Library and Archive.

  • Saturday Opening: Our next Saturday opening will be on Saturday 20 September 2014, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.

  • Late-Night Opening: ITMA is now open every Thursday night until 8.00 pm.

  • Digitised Materials: The ITMA is continuing with its existing bi-monthly programme of publishing new tranches of digitised materials which are available here.

  • On-Line Catalogue: Entries are available here.

With best wishes,

The Staff of the Irish Traditional Music Archive / Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann

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