The popular belief is that the bodhrán drum is the oldest instrument on the planet, stone-age technology that has survived into the age of digital dissemination. Fintan Vallely challenges the simplicity of the view with data collected in the National Museum at Castlebar, the Dept of Irish Folklore, from modern Irish literature and from recalled 1960s – ‘70s conversations. He reassigns the available data to suggests that today’s ‘bodhrán’ is the popular-music, Black and White Minstrels’ tambourine upon which has been forced the form, identity and history of a ubiquitous, pre-Famine utensil. He concludes that the bodhrán in fact is our newest instrument, and should be celebrated for that alone: a unique adaptation that has in less than a half century won a sense of ubiquitousness that it took the harp a millennium to achieve.
3pm – 5 pm, all welcome.