Een musicologie van de Keltische en naburige stijlen - Extra: 'De handelswijzen van het bardisch instituut' [Home][Auteur: Ben Dijkhuis][Laatste update: 04-12-2017][Hoofdstuk: Harmonie][Gebruiksvoorwaarden]

INHOUD van deze pagina (verberg)

  1. 1. 'De handelswijzen van het bardisch instituut'
  2. 2. Vertaling van de passages
  3. 3. Geraadpleegde bronnen

1. 'De handelswijzen van het bardisch instituut'

Oorspronkelijke bron:

Book of McCarthy Reagh
(Book of Lismore)
Leabhar Mac Carthaigh Riabhach;Chatsworth House in Derbyshire s. xv/xvi;
kopieën: RIA (Royal Acadamy of Ireland, Dublin) MS 478 (voorheen: 23 P 2) en
RIA MS 477 (voorheen: 23 H 5);
ca. 1480

Deze vertaling door Owen Connellan van diverse passages uit Imtheacht na Tromdhaimhe of 'The proceedings of the great bardic institution' is afkomstig van een transcriptie uit RIA MS 478 (fol. 144 a, 1–151 b) (Connellan, 1890, p.91-107).

Het werk is een satire op de Bardische orde. Het verhaal zou zich afspelen tijdens een bijeenkomst aan het hof van Guaire, koning van Connaught, na de dood van de dichter en hoofd-ollamh Dallán Forgaill (ca.530–598) van Ierland, de lofredenaar van St. Colum Cille (St. Columba 521–597). Het was Seanchán Torpes van Connaught die in deze functie gekozen werd. Na de misdragingen van de volgelingen van Seanchán, riep Marbhan, de broer van Guaire een bezwering over hen uit. Connellan zegt hierover het volgende (Connellan, 1890, introductie p. 33):

"We learn from the latter part of the foregoing brief sketch of the history of the Bards, that at various times they had become obnoxios to the nation by reason of their overbearing insolence en exactions, and it is quite clear that the object of the writer evidently was to satirize the Bards, rail at their overbearing arrogance, check their influence, and cover their professional order with ridicule and contempt. It is, in fact, a severe satire on the whole order....."

Deze pagina toont enkele relevante passages met betrekking tot de term crónán, een archaïsche vocale techniek, die door Eugene O'Curry werd gedefinieerd als een monotone zang als die van het spinnen van een kat (O'Curry, 1873). Zie ook: Het hoofdstuk Vormen en Technieken: Crónán. Een archaïsche vocale stijl.

2. Vertaling van de passages

[p. 91]
'True,' said Shanchan, 'and art thou Marvan the swineherd, chief prophet of heaven and earth?' 'I am, indeed,' replied Marvan. 'What is thy pleasure?' asked Shanchan. 'I heard,' replied Marvan, 'that every person gets his choice of music or of arts from you, and I am come to ask my choice of the arts.' 'You shall obtain that,' said Shanchan, 'if you can show your relationship to the arts.' 'I can do so,' said Marvan, 'namely, that the grandmother of my servant's wife was descended from poets.' 'You shall obtain your choice of the arts, though very remote is your connection with them,' said Shanchan, 'and say what art is it you prefer.' 'I desire no better at present than as much Cronan [a monotonous chaunting tune often used as a lullabi] as I like,' says Marvan. 'It is not easier for these to perform any other art for thee than that,' says Seanchan.
The Cronan performers came to them, thrice nine was their number, and they wished to perform the regular Cronan. That, however, was not what Marvan desired, but the bass
[or hoarse] Cronan; and the reason he chose that was,

[p. 93]
in the hope that they might break their heads, feet and necka, and that their breathing might the sooner be exhausted by it than by the regular Cronan.
The three nines were singing the Cronan after that manner; and, whenever they wished to stop, it was then that Marvan would say— 'Give us as much of the Cronan as we desire in accordance with your promise.' The three nines soon became exhausted, and Marvan again desired that more of the Cronan should be sung for him. Nine of them, who were inefficient, only answered to his call, and these continued a shorter time to sing it than the three nines previously; and Marvan said —'Perform as much Cronan as we desire.'

A person within, in answer to him, said—'I will perform an art for thee, Marvan.' 'Who art thou?" says Marvan. 'I am Dael Duileadh, Professor of Leinster.' 'What is the art thou wouldst perform for me?' asked Marvan. 'I am a good disputant
[or wrangler],' said Dael Duileadh. 'Thou wilt not propose to me a question that I will not solve; and there is not a problem which I would propose, that the entire of the great bardic association could solve; and do thou tell me,' said Dael Duileadh, 'what goodness did man find on the earth which God did not find? Which are the two trees whose green tops do not fade till they become withered? What is the animal which lives in the sea-water, whose drowning it would be if taken out of the sea-water, and whose life would be preserved by putting him into it? And what is the animal which lives in the fire, and whose burning it would be if taken out of it, and whose life would be preserved by putting him into it?' 'These are good problems, Dael Duilidh," said Marvan, 'and though excellent I will solve them. That which man found on earth, and which God did not find, is his sufficiency of a Lord; for there has not been a man, be he never so

[p. 95]
bad or so good, who, if he could not find hia sufticiency of an earthly lord, would find the King of heaven and earth to be his Lord, because He is himself Lord of lords. The two trees whose green tops do not fade are Eo-Rosa and Fidh-Sidheang, namely, Holly and Yew. The animal, whose drowning it is to take him out of the sea, is named Gnim-Abraen; and the beast, whose burning it is to take him out of the fire, is Tegillus, which was its original name, and its name at present is Salmandar. And these are the solutions of the problems you proposed to me, Dael Duilidh,' said Marvan. 'I crave thy mercy, prime prophet of heaven and earth,' said Dael Duilidh; 'Ask me no question and I'll ask thee no more questions.' 'Perform as much Cronan for me as I desire, ye great bardic association,' says Marvan.
One of the bardic body answered him and said:—'I will perform an art for thee,' says he. 'Who art thou?' says Marvan. 'I am Oircne Aitheamuin,' says he, 'Professor of Thomond.' 'What art wilt thou perform for me?' asked Marvan. 'It is easy for me to perform a good art for thee, for I am skilful and highly learned.' 'It is clear to me,' says Marvan, that, though many an ignorant person there be in the house of the great bardic association, there is not of the entire one person more ignorant than thyself.' How so?' said Oircne. 'There are two men paying their addresses to thy wife, and thou knowest neither of them; and these two men are the son of the king Findfhaltaigh
[of fair hair], and the son of Fraigid Dairine, that is, the foster-son of Guaire; and the gold ring which thou receivedst from Guaire, she has given it to one of them, and she gave your sword to the other man.' Oircne Aithemuin arose, looked for his gold ring and sword, and he discovered he had neither of them; and, as he did not find them, he said:— I beseech thy mercy, O prime prophet

[p. 97]
of heaven and earth; do not disturb me and I will trouble thee no more.' 'I will not,' said Marvan, 'but let me have a sufficiency of Cronan.'
A person in the mansion said:—'I will submit an art unto thee,' said she. 'Who art thou?' says Marvan. 'I am Crinliath Caillidhe"
[Withered Hag] she replied. 'What is the art thou wouldst perform for me?' 'The most noble of all the arts in the world, namely, to become thy spouse. 'It is evident to me,' said Marvan, 'that thou art an ill-disposed old woman, and possibly had been so in your younger days, since thou speakest so immodestly at this advanced period of thy life. As for me,' said Marvan, 'as I did not wed in my youthful days, neither shall I do so now, particularly a withered, emaciated, and decrepid old hag as thou art.' 'Be merciful to me, O prime prophet of heaven and earth. Forgive me, and I shall say no more.' 'I will, said Marvan, 'but let a sufficiency of Cronan be performed for me.'
'I will perform,' said a man in the house,' an art for thee.' 'What is the art?' says Marvan, 'and who art thou?' 'I am a good professor in my art to Seanchan, and Casmael the Harper is my name.' 'I question thee, Casmael,' said Marvan, 'whence originated the science of playing the harp; who was the first that composed poetry, or whether the harp or the timpan was the first made?'
'I don't know that, prime prophet,' said Casmael. 'I know it,' says Marvan, and I will tell it thee. In former times there lived a married couple whose names were Macuel, son of Miduel, and Cana Cludhmor
[or of great fame] his wife. His wife, having entertained a hatred for him, fled before him through woods and wildernesses, and he was in pursuit of her. One day that the wife had gone to the strand and the sea of Camas, and while walking along the strand she discovered the skeleton of a whale on the strand,

[p. 99]
and having heard the sound of the wind acting on the sinews of the whale, she fell asleep by that sound. Her husband came up to her, and having understood that it was by the sound she had fallen asleep, he proceeded into an adjacent forest, where he made the frame of a harp, and he put chords on it of the tendons of the whale, and that is the first harp that was ever made.
'And moreover, Lamiach had two sons - Bigamus, namely, Jubal and Tubalcain. One of them was a smith, that is, Tubalcain; and he conceived that the tones of the two hammers in the forge denoted the quantities of metre, and on that measure he composed a verse, and that was the first verse that ever was composed.'
'Be merciful to me, prime prophet of heaven and earth; do not annoy me and I shall not annoy thee.' 'I will not,'said Marvan, but let there be plenty of Cronan performed for me.'
A person in the mansion said:— 'I will perform an art for thee, O Marvan.' 'Who art thou?' says Marvan, 'and what is the art thou hast?' 'Coirche Ceoilbhinn
[performer of melodious music] is my name, 'said he, 'Professor of Timpanism to the great Bardic Institution.' question thee, Coirche Ceoilbhinn, 'says Marvan, 'why is the Timpan called the 'Saint's Timpan,' and that no saint ever performed on a Timpan?' 'I really do not

[p. 101]
know,' replied the Timpanist. 'I will tell thee,' said Marvan; 'it was as follows: -When Noah, the son of Lamiach, went into the ark, he brought many musical instruments with him, and in particular he brought a Timpan, and he had a son who was accustomed to play on it. They remained in the ark during the time that the deluge had been over the world; and when Noah and his family were coming out of it, the son wished to take the Timpan with him. 'Thou shalt not take it,' said Noah, 'unless I obtain a request.' The son asked him what was the request. Noah said he would be satisfied by naming the Timpan after himself. The son granted him that favour, so that the Timpan of Noah has been its name ever since; and that is not what you ignorant Timpanists call it, but the Saint's Timpan.'.
Be merciful unto me, prime prophet of heaven and earth; do not interfere with me, and I shall interfere with thee no more.' 'I will not,' said Marvan, 'but let me have enough of Cronan performed for me;' and Marvan called for the Cronan three times and did not obtain it.
Seanchan was ashamed of that, and as he found no other person to comply with Marvan's request, he said he would himself perform the Cronan. It will be more melodious to me from thyself,' said Marvan, 'than from any other person.' Seanchan raised his beard up high, and Marvan would have no other from him than the guttural Cronan.
Whenever Seanchan would wish to cease, then would Marvan say—'Perform enough of Cronan for me. 'Seanchan was ashamed of that, and, by an overstrained effort of his in performing the Cronan, one of his eyes gushed out and lay on his cheek. When Marvan beheld that he was afraid that he might get blame from Guaire, and he said his Pater in his right hand, and he put the eye back into its own

[p. 103]
place, and he afterwards said:— 'Perform ye a sufficiency of Cronan for me.'
A person in the mansion said :— 'I will myself perform an art for thee, Marvan.' 'Who art thou?' says Marvan, 'and what is the art?' 'I am the best scelaidhe
[story-teller] in the great Bardic Institution,' said he, 'and in all Ireland; and Fis Mac Fochmarc is my tribe [or family] name.' 'If thou art the best sgeulee in Erin,' said Marvan, 'thou knowest the principal stories of Erin.' 'I do, indeed,' replied the sgeulee. 'Well then,' said Marvan, 'relate to me TAIN-BO-CUAILGNE' [or the Cattle Prey of Cooley]. Silence seized the sgeulee and he is reproved for it. 'What are you about,' says Seanchan, 'in not telling the story to Marvan?' 'Have patience, O arch Professor,' said the sgeulee, 'I have not heard that that Prey was ever executed in Erin, nor do I know who took it.' 'Since that is the case,' said Marvan, 'I put thee under geasa [enchantment] until thou relatest the Tain to me; and I put the entire of the great bardic body under injunctions that they shall not remain two nights in the same house until they discover the story of the Tain. I also deprive you all of your poetic faculties, by the will of my God, that henceforth you shall not have the power of composing verse, excepting one poem only until you find for me the Tain-Bo-Cuailgne; and there am I now going away, and, upon my word, were it not for Guaire well would I avenge myself on you for the white boar, you indolent, ignorant, bardic clan.'
Marvan proceeded on his way, and left the great Bardic Association wearied, downcast, gloomy, and in sorrow. Then Shanchan said:—'Marvan bound us under geasa, that we should not remain two nights in one place, until we would procure the Tain; and it was in this place we were last night, and we must not be here to-night, that we

[p. 105]
may fulfill our geasa; we must, therefore, proceed on our way in quest of the Tain till we discover it.' It was then that every individual of the great Bardic Institution started up simultaneously, both professors and students, both poets and scientific persons, both men and women, both hounds and servants, both young and old. But, notwithstanding their being called the great Bardic Institution, and though greatly they were abhorred, yet small was their consumption of food; for Brigit, daughter of Onitcerne, the wife of Shanchan, was the person among them who did eat most, and she usually did eat only a hen egg at a meal, and therefore she was called Brigit of the great appetite.
The great bardic association then proceeded on their journey, until they arrived at the residence of Guaire. Guaire went forth to meet them, for he wondered at seeing them all on the plain, and he bid them a welcome in general. He gave three kisses to Shanchan, and said— 'What news hast thou, arch Ollav?' said he; 'why have you departed from your own mansion?' 'Bad is our story, O king,' said Shanchan. 'Marvan the swineherd, prime prophet of heaven and earth, came on a visit to us to take revenge of us for the white boar. He requested his choice art and music, which was granted to him, and the choice he made was to have his sufficiency of Cronan. Thrice nine of us went to chaunt the Cronan for him, and I myself,' said Shanchan, 'finally went to sing it for him; and whenever I chanced to cease he then desired to have more Cronan sung for him; and by an overstrained effort I made I put out my eye on my cheek, but he healed me by the power of God. A person in the mansion then told him he would entertain him with Sgeuleeaght
[story-telling], and he [Marvan] chose to have Tain-bo-Cuailgne [the Cattle Raid of Cooley]. The Sgeulee said he had not that story, and he bound us and the story-teller by Geasa

[p. 105]
[solemn injunctions]' so as not to have the power of composing one stanza of our poetry, and that we are not to remain two nights in the same house till we procure for him the story of the Tain. In this place we were last night, and we cannot be in it to-night.'

3. Geraadpleegde bronnen