The compositions of Turlough O'Carolan, born in 1670, have a special place in the story of Irish music, as does the figure of Carolan himself, a blind itinerant harper living at a time of significant change in Irish history. Carolan seems to embody the image of the old bards in whom resided the last vestiges of the ancient music and the lost art of extempore poetry. His music is often seen as a link between traditional Irish melodies and baroque music but more importantly it includes some of the most striking melodies ever composed in any tradition.
Originally written for harp, these compositions lend themselves perfectly for the fingerstyle guitarist. In this lesson, Duck Baker teaches a wide variety of Carolan pieces from the simple folk-like air Blind Mary to the stately Hewlett. The mysterious Planxty Kelly and the deeply melodic The Fairy Queen are presented as well as Carolan's Concerto, a complex folk-baroque arrangement of the bard's most celebrated composition.