William Henry Grattan Flood, renowned musicologist and historian, was born in Lismore in 1857. A major figure in the renaissance of interest in Irish music and study of Irish antiquities, his contribution to Irish musical forms was marked by the publication of key and enduring works such as The Story of the Harp (1905), and History of Irish Music (1927).
As composer of ecclesiastical music, his hymn compositions and three masses - including Mass in Honour of St. Carthage - were much praised, but the scholarly works were seminal, and his pivotal influence in this area was corroborated again most recently in Diarmuid Ferriter's The Transformation of Ireland,1900-2000 (2004).
As an historian his output was prolific, publishing impeccably researched monographs, scholarly papers and newspaper articles on topics of local and national historical or biographical interest. Notable are his History of the Diocese of Ferns (1916), articles of for the Journal of the Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society (1895-1915), The Cork Historical Journal and contributions for prestigious publications such as Dictionary of National Biography and Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1904-1910) .
His career included a period spent as professor at St Wilfrid's Cotton Hall in Staffordshire, and he was for many years was a correspondent of Edward Elgar, Douglas Hyde and other notable personalities of the time who held him in high esteem. He lived in Enniscorthy for 30 years, and died 1n 1928, aged 71.
A succinct and informative account of the career, work and legacy of W.H. Grattan-Flood is contained in an article written by his son, William Grattan Flood, for the Capuchin Annual (1974).
Articles online include those contributed to many Journals, including the Journal of the Waterford and South-East of Ireland Archaeological Society as well as Studies. We also publish the last ever article written by Flood in 1928, the title of which posed the question: Had Ireland Ever a Great Composer?
His notable scholarly contributions to musicology The Story of the Harp (1905), and History of Irish Music (1927) are also available online, with individual chapters listed for ease of browsing.
Other titles of note is his biography of Waterford born composer William Vincent Wallace (1912) (pictured right).
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