YouTube Playlist of Jaw Harp in Irish, Scottish, etc… Traditional music and Folk Revival
Greetings to all,
I recently created a YouTube Playlist containing every video (music video or proper video) I could encounter where a jaw harp is performing in Folk "celtic" (let me use this unprecise term) music. I am trying to keep it updated for now there’s nearly 200 videos! Here it is:
So… there’s mainly Irish and Scottish material, but also some Northumbrian, Breton, Welsh and British. There’s also some Irish and Scottish music by players from abroad. And there’s also some American and Canadian music, but I selected only the tracks that were clearly of Irish/Scottish origin.
I didn’t put Blues, New Age, Pagan, Viking folk & co.
You can say that it’s kinda of a mess, but I could argue that the playlist has not scientific purposes but strictly personal and aesthetical ones. ‘:D
There’s different "qualities" and different type of videos.
So there’s mainly single tracks from albums but there’s also live performances, a pair of full albums, a documentary, and two episodes of an old TV series ("The Vital Spark") that has the jaw harp in the intro music.
It’s mainly revival players, but there are also some pretty "ancient" recordings of traditional players (e.g. the famous Flanagan Brothers or Willie Kemp/Curly McKay) and Ethnomusicological field recordings (e.g. Scottish player Angus Lawrie or Northumbrian player Bob Clark).
The majority are traditional dance tunes but there’s also some folk singer song accompaniment.
Also the quality of the playing is variable. Sometimes the jaw harp is used as a "special effect", sometimes you can hear only a distant "boing" sound in the background, sometimes it’s used rhythmically, but a lot of times you will hear a very clear melodic and precise playing, there’s some solo masterpieces (e.g. one of the best revival jaw harp players, John Wright).
Obviously, you’ll have to keep in mind that not everything is on Youtube… this is what I found.
A lot of albums are not available there, some are only on Spotify, some field recordings are available on Online Folk Music Archives (e.g. on Tobar an Dualchais you will find some excellent Scottish jaw harp recordings and information, something is on ITMA, and something on the British Library Sound Archive), some were just never put online.
So… after all this complicated chit chat… My objective is just to spread awareness on this sometimes belittled traditional musical instrument 🙂
Perhaps some future players can use the playlist to inspire him/herself and to learn the patterns of playing.
Have a good listen on the playlist and let me know if you find on Youtube other videos that can be put there.
(and happy Easter btw)