Dennis 's a chairde,
> It is not at all certain that "céis" actually meant "small harp".
> Nevertheless, the words "comaitecht" (accompaniment) and especially
> "comsinm" (playing together) make it clear that musicians did play
It's hopeful then that in light of the word "comaitecht", harmonic
accompaniment was practiced in Medieval Ireland. I'd like to think that it
was, anyway. Giraldus Cambrensis (_The History and Topography of Ireland_,
c. 1200) states that "the melody is kept perfect and full with unimpaired
art through everything -- with quivering measures and the involved use of
several instruments -- with a rapidity that charms, a rhythmic pattern that
is varied, and a concord achieved through elements discordant. They
harmonize at intervals of the octave and the fifth...." This tells us that
several instruments were used in tandem, but it doesn't say whether they
played in unison or not.
> You're fine, but note that "itir... ocus..." means the same as Modern
> "idir... agus..." = "both... and...".
I have it now. I wasn't connecting "itir" with "7" for "ocus".
> Although it does not overtly mention playing in harmony, there is a
> lengthy description in "Táin Bó Fraích" of the harpers and harps that
> Fróech brought with him to the court of Medb and Ailill. Ailill says
> "Sennat do chruittiri dún" (Let your harpers play for us). And they
> do: "Sennait dóib íarum conid apthatar dá fher déc dia muntir la coí
> 7 torsi." (They play for them then, so that twelve of his people died
> from weeping and sadness.) This seems to imply that they were playing
> in unison.
Thank you. I'm still looking for that stray source that absolutely confirms
that there was harmony going on.