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Musicians of Erinn
- Musicians of Erinn -
- Musicians of Erinn -
I once wrote a manuscript called History of Music in Erinn that was strongly based on the colorful history of our ancestors, writing beautiful music in Erinn, combining that with my personal study on the history of music in Erinn.
The reaction on the book varied greatly. Some people encouraged me, telling me that it was an organized, informative compilation of the history of music in Erinn, while others found the book too difficult to follow.
Despite my intentions, the book may have driven more casual music fans AWAY from music, and in discussing this matter with my students, I came to a conclusion that I'll need to write a reference book of that, designed to attract casual music fans and historians alike with simple, approachable language.
This book is focused on putting the spotlight back on the historic composers that have left their mark in the rich history of music in Erinn, especially on the stories of the 3 composers.
The thought of my writing doing more harm than good in depicting the musicians' enthusiasm for music made me restless, and I am deathly worried that I may have made the same mistakes that plagued the first one, but I am confident that this book will help you and everyone else that picks it up get a better understanding of our history of music.
May everyone that reads this book be blessed with the sheer love for music as these three musicians shared in their lives.
Lastly, I owe a sincerely gratitude to my beloved student who took time compiling and editing my book. Thank you, Neil.
The God of Music, Corple
Every discussion about the bards in Erinn has to start with one name, and that is Corple.
There were bards before he came, but at the time, when Partholons ruled Erinn, the music was used merely to emphasize a story. There was little if no descriptive nature of the lyrics, the songs were quite limited in general, and when different people play the same song, the song went through changes based on who was playing that day. That's when Corple came in and changed everything.
He was an incredible composer, a competent instrument player, and a beautiful poet. After mastering all the songs that were passed down before and after the Moitura War, he came up with the Music Scroll format that we use today, and his sharp view of the society became the predecessor for socially-conscious songs that followed after him.
His songs base heavily on our shared life experiences. His voice was a heavy, yet not suppressed bass that sang of the history of the world. His playing exceeded the score and shook everyone by the core, and his songs are still revered today. This is why he's considered the God of Music.
The reason why he received so much respect as the God of Music wasn't necessarily solely because of musicality. Of course, his musicality was off the charts, but it was his ability to transcend songs from the regular role of music to that of a form of communication between people, with music as its language.
As evidenced by his opposition of the traitor Brass, who made a deal with the Fomors, he was unafraid the correct the wrong to right, and was constantly opposing corruption and badness in the world. His life rings true to many of the bards today. The effect Corple has on other musicians is so humongous, that his genious musicianship contributed to raising the bar for the future generations to come , while his unwavering faith in goodness gives everyone hope that the world can be changed through the power of music.
After Corple, the music scores became prevalent, bringing people much closer to music. His legacy in the field of music is almost daunting, that the musicians that followed him may have left their mark in their ways, but was nothing compared to what he had done.Even so, we do need to focus on a couple of instrumentalists.
The King of Strings, Avkan
Moitura War, which was a long series of painful encounters between the humans and the Fomors, but with the humans emerging victorious in the end, was a favorite subject for most of the bards during that time.
Since they were all discussing the same topic, but in different songs, the listeners began to compare the musicians to see who was better, and this in fact triggered the phenomenon where the people chose their favorite musicians based not on their individualities as people, but how well and creative the song was written.
Avkan was at the forefront of this new movement.
Avkan is considered the King of Strings, and when he picked up a Lute or a Harp to play a song, the beautiful sound of his instruments could be accurately described as heavenly. His voice was so sultry and luscious that many women shed tears as they got emotional listening to his voice. There was even a legend that his voice was heard by a fairy and wanted to bring him to the land of the fairies.
His topic of choice on his songs were mainly of that war, and although the stories of the war have been passed down from generation to generation, the same couldn't be sad about the emotional impact he had on the society during the same time. This is regarded as one of the great tragedies of our history.
Avkan's music was testament to how important technique was, whether it be playing instruments or vocal performance. As a result, many believe he was the reason why we have the disciplined number of courses on music education in general today.
The Wizard of Words, Enn
If Avkan represented sheer beauty of the sound, then there was another musician out there who took the opposite route of improving music through the streets. His name is Enn, known these days as the Wizard of Words. In order to truly understand why he got that label, it's important that one must understand the music trend of the day.
As music improved leaps and bounds over the years, another phenomenon that started with this was the fact that people started storing old songs from the Partholon days and beyond into music scores.
Eventhough the legends and the stories have been passed down through songs written by bards, that could only go so far. Finally, there came a time where a group of historians decided to start writing music, using their extensive knowledge of the history, and their work was instrumental in keeping the history and legacy in tact, while reminding everyone of the glorious past.
This is where Enn left his mark. He was equal parts the historian and the avid spreader of history, and he spent his whole life preaching it with his music. His music matched perfectly with his historically well-versed lyrics, and was a master at writing easy-to-sing songs that nevertheless carried a heavy message. His lyrics, in particular, were lauded for its clarity and vividness, a poem disguised as a song, stimulating the intellingence of those that were fortunate enough to listen to his songs. So much so that it was the "it" thing to do for the druids-in-training and the scholars to listen to his songs.
He had desired to become a druid, and was well on his way to becoming one when he realized the greatness music carried in our society, and decided to become a musician. Already well-versed in history, magic, and other issues he studied as a druid-in-training, he was instrumental in instilling druid characteristics to music of Erinn.
His songs may not have triggered much excitement when listening to them by themselves, but his polished lyrics elevated his song's stature, and some music historians point out that he seemed to obsess over lyrics much more so than the melody, and questions whether he really did elevate the level of music in Erinn, or not.
Even with all this, the reason he is highly regarded to this day is because his attitude towards music, as well as his specialty in writing music, is imbedded in the future generation of musicians that have brought orchestra and wind-instruments into the forefront of the music in Erinn.
His attempts at instilling spell-like effects in music, as well as trying to bring music into the world of wizardry, remains a target of criticism for old-time music purists to this day.
What these 3 musicians show
Ever since Avkan and Enn proved that music can trigger a change in emotion, a disturbing trend has begun where people stopped treating music as itself, but rather as means to achieve a certain agenda, and nothing more.
Actually this dates way back to the days of Moitura War. Back then, most of the bards and druids used music for military purposes. That didn't mean music was used as a weapon nor as part of a spell, which is still banned by most of the musicians these days.
This only means to inspire the troops that were about to embark on a battle, and music was used to instill courage and forget fear, not something with a hidden. more sinister message to it.
The reason why Corple's greatness lives on to this day may be because of this. Music may have shifted its focus towards practicality, but the music he played and spread were music in its purest, most convincing form, moving anyone and everyone that ever had a chance to listen to it.
The problem here is people trying to instill magical powers into songs. Like Enn's case, music was once spread by Druids, and because of that, the fact that some druids used it for magic purposes may have been an unavoidable side-effect. One of the all-time sinister wizards ever, Zavkiel, especially was a master at that.
On the other hand, Maurus, the great wizard that put an end to Zavkiel's destruction, believed that although druids can listen to music to understand how the society worked, but using them for magical purposes was a definite no no to him.
We're currently at a stage where the very value of music, which involves moving someone's heart, is severely tested. More than ever, we should fight to keep the spirit of music alive and look back on what our ancestors have done to preserve this art we all enjoy today.
Also, like Avkan and Enn, it's time for us to seriously consider what kind of music we will spread, and what kind of legacies we'll want our kids to have from us.