9th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music


The Irish State Musicians and Trumpeters of the 1730s

David Hunter

A major desideratum in understanding the music available to the Anglican Ascendancy in eighteenth-century Dublin is establishing the players who formed the State Musick and State Trumpeters. As Donald Burrows understatedly remarks in the context of Handel's visit in 1741-42 and the instrumentalists that were available; "it would ... [be] enlightening to know who these musicians were" (Irish Musical Studies 4 [1996]: 57).

Though the official records were destroyed in the famous Dublin fire of 1922, one piece of evidence, from the papers of Lionel Sackville, Duke of Dorset, during his first Lord Lieutenancy of 1730-37, has recently been found. I explore the names, instruments and pay listed, the overlap of the musicians with those who comprised the City Music, speculate on the musicians' responsibilities and repertory, and suggest who may have performed with Handel, notably at the premiere of Messiah.

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Last updated on 21 March 2000 by Yo Tomita