Simon O’Dwyer and Maria Cullen O’Dwyer are Ancient Music Ireland. Their work is the culmination of twenty-five years reproducing and musically exploring Irish instruments from prehistory. their research, which has taken them all over the world, has indicated strong possibilities as to the reasons why horns and trumpets were designed and how they may have been played. We have established beyond doubt that these instruments were made as a result of a hitherto unrealized level of expertise and sophistication.
In recent years, worldwide interest in pre-historic musical instruments has steadily increased. Ireland’s extensive collection of surviving pre-historic trumpets, horns, bells and other instruments make us unique in the world. These instruments span at least 3,000 years from 2,000 B.C. to 1,000 A.D. and are the product of several distinct cultural ages. Until the mid-1980s only strictly archaeological studies had been carried out on the Bronze Age horns and Iron Age trumpets. Then in 1986 Prehistoric Music Ireland was set up and the first accurate reproductions were made of a pair of bronze horns from Co. Antrim. Almost immediately new and exciting discoveries came to light about how to make and play these instruments. Since then Ancient Music Ireland has been reproducing and studying Bronze Age horns, Iron Age trumpas and other associated instruments.