Posted by: mdmusingsie | November 1, 2014

Happy Celtic New Year

You read that right – it’s New Year’s Day, at least according to the Celtic Calendar. Halloween or Oíche Shamhna marks the end of the Celtic year. What do we typically do at the start of the year? Make resolutions.

So I considered it particularly auspicious that the Celtic New Year’s Day was the day I had my first harp lesson – a resolution I’ve been long considering putting into practice. Not only am I learning to play the harp on the Celtic New Year but I’m using a traditional wire-strung Irish harp.

Many will know the Irish harp or cláirseach as the one on display in Trinity College, Dublin. It also appears on the back of the Irish Euro coins, is part of the seal of the President of Ireland and of course is part of the logo of the famous Guinness beverage.

If you search this blog for the word ‘harp’ you’ll find dozens of references. I’ve been a fan as far back as childhood when I discovered what a bard was. Now I’m finally putting that fascination into my own practice.

The harp I’m renting from the Historical Harp Society of Ireland is actually a Queen Mary replica, based on a Scottish harp – one of the three surviving medieval Gaelic harps. I’m being tutored by none other than Siobhán Armstrong, whom I’ve heard play at several events in the last few years and greatly admire.


My luck with instruments in the past has been sketchy at best, but sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time. I’m certainly in the right place, and I hope this is the right time for yet another of my long dormant creative talents to emerge.



  1. Best of luck with this new venture, Dawn. I hope it will be a fun project.

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