ARMSTRONG, Robert Bruce. Musical Instruments. Part I. The Irish and Highland Harps. Part II. English and Irish Instruments. Illustrated with facsimiles, music, plates and portraits.


1 in stock

Edinburgh: Printed by T. and A. Constable, 1904/1908. First edition. Quarto. pp. (1) xvi, 199, + errata, (2) 4, viii, 167. Blue cloth over bevelled boards, Irish Harp in gilt on upper cover of Part I; Scottish Thistle and English Rose in gilt on cover of the second part; titles in gilt on spines. Edition limited to 180 numbered copies. From the library of Garech Browne, with his armorial bookplate on front pastedowns. Traces of mild staining to lower cover of the second volume. A very good set. A rare opportunity to buy the complete set of this very important work.

Robert Bruce Armstrong (1838-1913) was an archaeologist living in Edinburgh, where he also practised music and art. He wrote two volumes on Musical Instruments and for our purposes the most important was the first, originally published in 1904. Well illustrated with photographs and his own beautiful drawings of the harps, it also includes many accurate measurements of the instruments he inspected. An important document of the history of the harp in Ireland. There are detailed descriptions of old harps notably the Trinity College Harp and many diagrams and pictures. There are sixteen pages of music for the Irish Harp taken mainly from the Bunting Collection. The Irish and the Highland Harps remains one of the essential works for the study of these instruments and has stood the test of time better than most other contemporary harp related publications.


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