Ardival Kilcoy is now SOLD!

Update:  Monday, August 9th:  Sam informs me that the harp is SOLD.  Thank you for your interest.

My colleague and friend in Portland, Sam, is selling her handsome and well-maintained Ardival Kilcoy harp for a VERY GOOD PRICE! She is including the Cronkhite case, which costs about $195 on its own, and the Kilcoy, purchased new, costs about $1600 or more. Essentially, you are getting $1800 worth of fine harp and a fine case for $1200, and it’s a deal.

Contact Sam at samtyler (at) comcast (dot) net. PLEASE NOTE the updated email address, as people were having trouble with the previous listed email. I have no economic interest in this sale, but know the seller, and have seen this instrument at her home. Sam is trustworthy and safe, and I know from my own experience owning a Kilcoy that they’re great little instruments for travel and everyday playing.



We spent several weeks in Ireland this summer, and while there, made a special visit to Glendalough, an early Christian monastic site in the Wicklow mountains, about an hour south of Dublin.  Simon Chadwick, my teacher, had alerted me to the significance of the site to harpers and musical history.

Steep, wooded hills enclose the site.

St. Kevin's Church.

The round tower at Glendalough.

Righ Fearta, or burial place of the kings

Apparently, according to the lore, and as described in some Welsh manuscripts, a meeting of Welsh and Irish musicians may have taken place at Glendalough in about 1100 C.E., with the express purpose of establishing “a set of rules to assist the composition, memorization, performance and classification of cerdd dant and to create the 24 musical measures.” (from Harper, Instrumental Music in Medieval Wales.  North American Journal of Welsh Studies, 4:1, 2004).  So what is cerdd dant?  It translates as ‘the art of string,’ meaning it is a set of defined rules.

In any case, whether the gathering actually took place, or whether it was a lovely fiction intended to establish the credentials of cerdd dant, Glendalough is a lush, dramatically situated place to visit.  There are two round towers, one of which is quite low, and is attached to the small St. Kevin’s church.  The other was used, our elderly guide told us, as a lookout and a landmark for signalling to arriving pilgrims coming through the glen.  Situated as it is in a deep cleft in the rugged mountains, I could imagine the relief a visitor would feel to see a glimmer of light shining from a high tower through the murk and mist when arriving after a long journey.

Coming soon:  the marvelous O’Ffogarty harp in Thurles, Co. Tipperary.


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