Irish harping, 1900–2010
‘A welcome addition to the body of literature on traditional Irish music … The diversity of harp music performance styles and repertoire is the most significant revelation in the book, and many significant teachers, composers, arrangers and performers are identified and contextualized. Lawlor’s discussion is enhanced by detailed musical analyses of several tunes and compositions from both styles, as well as 23 colour photographs in the centrefold … Lawlor’s performance-informed style is engaging … a valuable resource for harp enthusiasts, while it also makes a fine contribution to scholarship, more generally, in the field of Irish music … accessible to the scholar and the non-academic reader alike', Conor Caldwell, Journal of the Society for musicology in Ireland (2013/14).
‘Part of the importance of Helen Lawlor’s book is to convincingly go against the usual narrative to show an unbroken continuity in the Irish harp tradition despite substantial change, and to demonstrate the importance of the harp within contemporary Irish musical culture … Besides giving a historical narrative of twentieth-century harping, Lawlor discusses the music itself, the key teachers, promoters and performers of the harp with concise treatment of central themes such as music revivals, gender and authenticity. The book itself, well written with its argument clearly articulated, makes an excellent contribution to the study of the modern Irish harp', Diarmuid Ó Giolláin, Journal of Folklore Research (October 2013).