A Sound So Melting: The Early Irish Harp and England’s Tudor Court

Oct. 28, 2023, 8:00 p.m.

Skinner Hall of Music

Henry VIII’s declaration as King of Ireland brought the melting strains of the early Irish harp to the courts of England, Denmark, and elsewhere in Europe, continuing at Elizabeth’s court. This pinnacle of Gaelic musical culture strung with brass wires was assimilated into a European context and heard alongside Renaissance consort instruments like the flute, lute, and viol. Come experience a reconstruction of this Tudor sound world: Harper James Ruff plays music by Henry VIII himself, Irish songs referenced by Shakespeare next to those by Dowland, and a collection of ancient laments contrasted with modern pavanes arranged by Queen Elizabeth II’s Irish harper, Cormack MacDermott.

Free and open to the public.

James Ruff playing the harp.
James Ruff