The first lecture in the series associated with the current Long Room exhibition In Tune takes place in the Long Room Hub at 6.30pm on Wednesday 20 November. Nicholas Carolan, Director of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, will discuss the Goodman manuscripts, and some of the tunes from the collection will be played by uilleann piper Peter Browne.
James Goodman, Professor of Irish at TCD from 1879 until his death in 1896, grew up in Co. Kerry speaking both Irish and English, and developed a passionate interest in Irish traditional music. He learned to play the flute and the uilleann pipes, and transcribed folk tunes from the local musicians he encountered. He compiled fair copies of the music he collected, and these were later presented to Trinity College Library: four volumes following his death, and a further two (including the words for some of the tunes) in 2006 after they were rediscovered by one of his descendants.
The Goodman manuscripts are significant because they preserve traditional tunes from the Munster area in pre-Famine times. They have begun to reach a wider audience in recent years through publication, performance and recording. The Irish Traditional Music Archive published a selection from the manuscripts in 1998 under the title Tunes of the Munster Pipers, edited by Hugh Shields. A second volume edited by Lisa Shields will be launched after the lecture-recital on 20 November.