Music, history, archaeology and literature have always been a big part of life for Harry Long. He studied History and Spanish in Trinity College, Dublin and has a PhD in Medieval History/Archaeology. He has played tin whistle and low whistle since childhood, always fascinated by the way history and literature are woven into the music and landscape of Ireland. He has explored many of these themes through research, publications and compositions. Here you will have the opportunity to engage with Harry in developing your knowledge of different aspects of Ireland’s culture.
His publications include articles on two of the most fascinating and dramatic sites in Ireland, the Early Medieval city of Glendalough, Co. Wicklow and the prehistoric fort of Dún Aonghasa, Co. Galway. He has also published two collections of whistle tunes and CDs with Walton’s of Dublin. The latter include some of his own compositions as well as traditional Irish tunes. Through his work with the band Coscán, he has explored themes centred around true historical tales and intriguing ancient sites in the Boyne Valley. His book The Waltons Guide to Irish Music (Dublin, 2005) is an A-Z exploration of the history of traditional instruments, songs, instrumental music and musicians. It also covers fusions of Irish traditional music with rock, classical and jazz. The historical links with other Celtic parts of Europe and the types of traditional music found there are also detailed. Liam Clancy wrote “For those of us who love Irish music and the people who play, sing and foster it in all forms, this book is a treasure trove and an essential resource. I highly recommend it”
Harry has taught in the Medieval History Department in Trinity College, Dublin and currently teaches in Walton’s New School of Music, Dublin. He also teaches Music in Primary schools in Co. Meath and has done many specialised lectures and tours on the archaeology and history of Ireland. He has been self-employed in these fields since 1995.
-’The Ringfort at Ballinacor and the O’Byrnes of Gabhal Raghnaill’ in Journal of the Glendalough Historical and Folklore Society, Volume 1 (Laragh, 1990).
-’Dún Aonghasa’ in Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, Volume 44:1992,edited by Joe O’Halloran.
-’Three Settlements of Gaelic Wicklow’ in Wicklow. History and Society (Dublin, 1994) edited by Ken Hannigan and William Nolan.
-‘Settlement and Social Life in Fiach MacHugh O’Byrne’s Ballinacor’ in Feagh MacHugh O’Byrne,The Wicklow Firebrand (1998, Rathdrum Historical Society) edited by Conor O’Brien.
– The Walton’s Guide to Irish Music (Dublin, 2005).
–Soundscapes. Irish Music and Aural Awareness (Dublin, 2006), with Arthur Sealy.
–Ireland’s Best Tin Whistle Tunes 2 (Dublin, 2003).
–Ireland’s Best Tin Whistle Tunes 2 (Dublin, 2003), with Double CD
–Ireland’s Best Tin Whistle Tunes for Children (Dublin, 2003)
–Ireland’s Best Tin Whistle Tunes for Children (Dublin, 2005), with Double CD.
Rinka, Urbanethnic (Glenside Records, 2001)
Coscán, Coscán (Newrath, 2004)
Coscán, Dinnseanchas. Lore of Places (Newrath, 2009)
Coscán, Firedance (Newrath, 2016)
What My Clients Have To Say
Harry Long was a huge hit with the groups I brought on music and culture tours of Ireland over the past 25 years. His knowledge of history, mythology, music and archaeology, is second to none. His warm personality and engaging manner make him a natural teacher and guide. He also excels as a whistle player and composer and has recorded several wonderful CDs.The first question my tour groups would ask every year was, “Will Harry be joining us?”
As director of Waltons New School of Music, I have worked with Harry Long for over two decades. In that time, he has brought to teaching with us an understanding of and breadth of knowledge about both Irish history and Irish music that is second to none. In addition to working with us as a teacher of tin whistle and low whistle, he also teaches our Irish Music Tasters – made up of Bodhrán Tasters, Tin Whistle Tasters and An Introduction to Irish Music – that have introduced thousands of people from all over the world to Irish music. And he founded and directs Rig-a-Jig, an innovative Irish traditional music group, made up of New School students, that develops and performs its own arrangements of Irish music.
As Principal of Oristown National School near Kells, Co. Meath, I worked with Harry Long on many projects over the years. Harry taught Music at the school once a week and brought a great wealth of talent and experience to the school, drawing on his background in both History and Music. In addition to his regular teaching of tin whistle, Harry was involved in more far-reaching projects at the school. As part of the Peace Project, in which we were involved with schools in Northern Ireland and England, he composed a piece of music with the pupils called ‘The Harmony March’. Children from Oristown performed this on whistles and keyboard in England with a brass band from Belfast and an orchestra from Warrington and it became a signature piece for the project. He was also involved in the EU Comenius Project, preparing the children to perform music connected to Turkey, Sicily, Norway, Estonia and Portugal, visiting Norway with staff members as a representative of the school. He also composed a special tune for the children to perform at the revival of the Summer Solstice Festival at Tara, the seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland in June, 2003. He later recorded this tune, ‘The Tara Jig’, with the band Coscán. He was an inspirational and creative force at Oristown National School and we worked hard there to bring together diverse aspects of Irish and European History through music and song. He brought an extra dimension to life at the school and the children learned much from him as well as experiencing great camaraderie and fun through learning and performing with him.