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Power takes the liberty of announcing to the Public a Work which has long been a Desideratum in this country. Though the beauties of the National Music of Ireland have been very generally felt and acknowledged, yet it has happened, through the want of appropriate English words, and of the arrangement necessary to adapt them to the voice, that many of the most excellent Compositions have hitherto remained in obscurity. It is intended, therefore, to form a Collection of the best Original Irish MELODIES, with characteristic Symphonies and Accompaniments; and with Words containing, as frequent as possible, allusions to the manners and history of the Country. Sir John STEVENSON has very kindly consented to undertake the

arrangement of the Airs; and the lovers of simple National Music may rest secure that, in such tasteful hands, the native charms of the original melody will not be sacrificed to the ostentation of science.

In the poetical part, Power has had promises of assistance from several distinguished Literary Characters, particularly from Mr. Moore, whose lyrical talent is so peculiarly suited to such a task, and whose zeal in the undertaking will be best understood from the following Extract of a Letter which he has addressed to Sir JOHN STEVENSON on the subject:

"I feel very anxious that a Work of this kind 66 should be undertaken. We have too long 66 neglected the only talent for which our Eng" lish Neighbours ever deigned to allow us any 66 credit. Our National Music has never been

properly collected ;* and, while the composers " of the Continent have enriched their Operas 66 and Sonatas with Melodies borrowed from Ire

* The writer forgot, when he made this assertion, that the Public are indebted to Mr. Bunting for a very valuable Collection of Irish Music; and that the patriotic genius of Miss OWEnson has been employed upon some of our finest Airs.



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“ land—very often without even the honesty of " acknowledgment—we have left these treasures " in a great degree unclaimed and fugitive. Thus

our Airs, like too many of our Countrymen, for “ want of protection at home, have passed into the “ service of foreigners. But we are come, I hope, “ to a better period both of Politics and Music; " and how much they are connected, in Ireland - at least, appears too plainly in the tone of sor“ row and depression which characterizes most of “ our early Songs.-The task which you propose to

me, of adapting words to these airs, is by no

means easy. The Poet, who would follow the 6 various sentiments which they express, must feel " and understand that rapid fluctuation of spirits, " that unaccountable mixture of gloom and levity, " which composes the character of my country"men, and has deeply tinged their ,Music. Even 66 in their liveliest strains we find some melan،،

choly note intrude—some minor Third or flat - Seventh-which throws its shade as it passes, “and makes even mirth interesting. If BURNS " had been an Irishman (and I would willingly “ give up all our claims upon Ossian for him), his

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“ heart would have been proud of such music, " and his genius would have made it immortal.

« Another difficulty (which is, however, purely " mechanical) arises from the irregular structure of 56 many of those airs, and the lawless kind of metre « which it will in consequence be necessary to adapt " to them. In these instances the Poet must write 66 not to the


but to the ear; and must be con6 tent to have his verses of that description which " CICERO mentions, Quos si cantu spoliaveris, 16 nuda remanebit oratio.' That beautiful Air, 6. The Twisting of the Rope,' which has all " the romantic character of the Swiss Ranz des Vaches, is one of those wild and sentimental " rakes, which it will not be very easy to tie down 6 in sober wedlock with Poetry. However, not66 withstanding all these difficulties, and the very “ little talent which I can bring to surmount " them, the design appears to me so truly Na« tional, that I shall feel much pleasure in giving 66 it all the assistance in my power.

Leicestershire, Feb. 1807."


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