In Good Hands: The Clarsach Society and the Renaissance of the Scottish Harp

Based on extensive archival research, this is the first comprehensive exploration of the small harp in Scotland in the modern period.

The author charts the rediscovery of Scotland’s oldest national instrument by writers and artists in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and its subsequent adoption by the Celtic Revival and those engaged in the promotion of Gaelic culture.  

We learn how this led to the establishment of Comunn na Clàrsaich, The Clarsach Society, in 1931 and how the organisation, largely led by women, ensured the renaissance of the small harp and became one of Scotland’s most significant and enduring cultural achievements of the twentieth century.  The activities and growth of the Society are detailed; its current flourishing is celebrated and there is discussion of current directions and the prospects of both the instrument and the organisation. 

The text is illustrated throughout by a unique selection of contemporary photographs. The book will be of interest to all enthusiasts of the clarsach and its music, and of Scottish music in general.

Dr Stuart Eydmann is a musician and ethnomusicologist with a special interest in the history and revival  of Scotland’s instrumental traditions. 

Price £12.00 

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