Grier, Stephen, 1824-1894

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Grier, Stephen, 1824-1894

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Piper, fiddle player and collector. A native of Abbeylara, Granard, Co. Longford, he lived at Bohey, Gortletteragh, Co. Leitrim. His collection of over 1,000 tunes was compiled in 1883; sixty-four of these appear in Ceol Rince na hÉireann 4. Grier’s work was passed on to his protégé William Mulvey, who, with his son Edward and Michael McGuinness of Bornacoola, appears in a picture of pipers at the 1912 Dublin Feis Cheoil. A notable feature of Grier’s collection is the wide variety of tune types and range of modes. The prominence of dance music and the absence of a bass clef both indicate a musician of the ‘folk’ tradition. The work includes c. 300 reels, 200 jigs, fifty hornpipes and forty slip jigs. Other dance pieces include eighty waltzes and some 160 tunes in other rhythms – primarily quicksteps and polkas. There are more than forty marches, seventy and more instrumental pieces. As yet unpublished, it was brought to public attention by Fr John Quinn, parish priest of Gortletteragh, Co. Leitrim who is also responsible for highlighting the unpublished manuscripts of Alex Sutherland. [CITM]


Abbeylara, Granard, Co. Longford ; Bohey, Gortletteragh, Co. Leitrim

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IE ITMA P00004

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ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).



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26 September 2018


  • English



Vallely, Fintan, ed. The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. 2nd ed. Cork: Cork University Press, 2011. [CITM]

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