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Our top 10 Heritage Week 2019 event picks with a focus on music and instruments

Music has remained one of Ireland’s favourite pastimes, from ancient times, to the Georgians, to the present day. This year’s National Heritage Week programme has plenty in store for those with a musical ear, with a wide range of options to suit every taste, and some wonderful days out for the whole family to enjoy!

Join in with your own musical talents or just sit back and listen. Here are our 10 ten musical picks from across the country which we think hit the right note.

1. Granard Harp Festival 2019, Co Longford

A celebration of traditional Irish music in this revival of a historic music festival, originally celebrated in the 1700s. The Granard Hap Festival promises to be a wonderful day for the whole family with traditional music, song and dance, agus imeachtaí trí Ghaeilge! Enjoy the craic agus ceoil on Friday, 23rd August from 7.30pm to 10pm in various venues across the town. Further details are available here.

2. The Wondrous Machine Organ Recital, Dublin City

The organ of St Patrick’s Cathedral has always been recognised as a fantastic feat of engineering - but it is in the music that it produces that truly brings it to life. The dexterous digits and fantastic feet of the Cathedral’s organists puts this wondrous machine through its paces. Come and experience this wonderful instrument in action with a recital you do not want to miss on Saturday, 17th and Saturday, 24th August from 6pm to 7pm, in the stunning surroundings of St Patrick’s Cathedral. Further details are available here.

3. Music at the Mound, Co Meath

The Four Corner’s Céilí Band will perform this Heritage Week at Knowth. Listen to traditional Irish music while taking the opportunity to explore this wonderful monument, part of the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne, famous for its megalithic art. Don’t miss out on this wonderful event for the whole family on Saturday, 17th August from 6.45pm to 9.30pm. Further details available here.

4. Jigs and Reels, Co Waterford

200 years ago, Reginald’s Tower was converted into a Police Establishment and Lock-up. During the 19th Century the towers’ female prisoners held “jigs and reels” in their cells to pass the tedious hours. Come along and get a first-hand taste of history as the dances are recreated in their original setting on Wednesday, 21st August from 1pm to 2pm. Further details available here.

5. Trip Down Memory Lane, Co Leitrim

Come to the Rainbow Ballroom, experience the music, the bands and relive the memories of the dance floor day. This showband exhibit holds a variety of pictures, music and stories from 1934 to the present day, as well as the opportunity to dance with a live band. This is a great way for the whole family to spend a morning on Wednesday, 21st August from 11am to 1pm. Further details available here.

6. Traditional Music Workshop, Co Kilkenny

Are you a fiddler, or an instrumentalist who can follow along with a fiddler? Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn how to play the Irish tune ‘The Secret Garden’, while in the historical surroundings of Rothe House, Kilkenny. The tune will be taught by its writer, local fiddler Anne Diste using her publication, Drawn to Tunes. Bring your instruments along on Friday, 23rd August from 3pm to 4pm. Further details available here.

7. Presentation and Exhibition: Ancient Music Ireland, Co Galway

This presentation and exhibition is a celebration of the evolution of music and instruments from the Stone Age to Early Medieval Ireland that both children and adults will enjoy. Taking place in the surrounds of Portumna Castle and Gardens, this event is a great opportunity to learn about our history while enjoying the music our ancestors would have listened to. Don’t miss this exciting event on Sunday, 25th August from 2.30pm to 5pm. Further details available here.

8. Cobh Carillon Recital, Co Cork

Visit St. Colmans Cathedral, and experience a one of a kind recital by Adrian Gebruers, the resident carilloneur on the 49 bell carillon. Built in 1916, the carillon remains the only one to be found in Ireland. This is a very special event to be enjoyed by the whole family on Wednesday, 21st August from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. Further details available here.

9. Music Time for Toddlers, Co Wicklow

Traditional Irish Music is a pastime which appeals to people of all ages. This music time for toddlers is the perfect way to spend a morning with your little ones, relaxing under the beautiful oak tree in Dunlavin’s Market Square Park. This fun event, focused on traditional Irish music, takes place on Thursday, 22nd August from 11am to 12pm. Further details available here.

10. The Georgians and Musical Culture, Co Limerick

Come along to The People's Museum of Limerick at No. 2 Pery Square and listen to an informal lecture by Dr Karol Mullaney-Dignam on ‘Passing Time with the Georgians: Irish Landed Society and Musical Culture’. A great way to pass an evening learning about musical tradition, and taking in the surroundings of this beautiful museum which houses over 60,000 objects. This event will take place on Wednesday, 21st August from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Further details available here.

National Heritage Week will take place from 17th – 25th August 2019 with a wide array of events happening across Ireland, come and see what's on near you.

Cover photo courtesy of John Dungan Branch Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann and Creative Ireland.