Charles O'Conor

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CHARLES O'CONOR/O'CONNOR. Irish, Air or Planxty (6/8 time). C Major (Complete Collection, O'Sullivan, Vallely): D Major (S. Johnson, Mulvihill). Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Composed by Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan [1] (1670–1738). O'Conor family histories give that Charles O'Conor (1710–1791) was an antiquarian scholar who acceded to the O'Conor seat of Belnagare, County Roscommon, in 1749. He was the eldest son of Denis and Mary O'Conor, for whom O'Carolan also composed pieces. Although a country gentleman, he was a Catholic, and thus was barred from many privileges of the class in that era. He received a classical education from a Franciscan friar and developed an interest in collecting Irish manuscripts, and kept up a correspondence with distinguished scholars of his day, including Dr. Samuel Johnson in London. O'Carolan was a frequent guest in his house and a harp, reputedly one of the bards, remains with the family at the new seat of Clonalis. O'Sullivan (1958) prints excerpts from Charles O'Conor's diaries of 1729 in which he relates being taught songs on the harp by O'Carolan, who was then aged 59 years, when the bard stayed a fortnight at Belnagare. A young Charles was also taught music by another harper, Mary Connellan, whom O'Sullivan suspects was a daughter of famous harper Thomas Connellan, born c. 1640 at Cloonmahon, County Sligo.

Turlough O'Carolan

Source for notated version: John Mulholland's Ancient Irish Airs [2] (1810) [O'Sullivan].

Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 125, p. 90. S. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 3: Carolan), 1983 (revised 1991, 2001); p. 9. Mulholland (Ancient Irish Airs), 1810; p. 21. Mulvihill (1st Collection), 1986; No. 12, p. 121 (appears as "Planxty O'Connor"). O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 125. Vallely (Learn to Play the Fiddle with Armagh Pipers Club), 197?; No. 52, p. 44.

Recorded sources:

See also listings at:
Jane Keefer's Folk Music Index: An Index to Recorded Sources [3]
Alan Ng's Irishtune.info [4]




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