'Leithghléas' (semi-tuning) uses F# throughout the harp gamut except on the 'téad leagaidh'
or 'falling string', FF, which is lowered to become the 'téad leagtha' or 'fallen string', EE. 'Téad
an leithghléis' (the string of the semi-tuning) is the f/f# string.
The term 'leithghléas' appears spelled variously in the introduction to Bunting's 1840 volume.
p21 leithghleas, leith glass 'half note'
p23 leath gleas, Leath Glass
p34 Leithglos tar, Luthglas, Luthglass 'A tune' 'Natural key'
Item 17 of Bunting MS37 has the entry 'Le glés In tune'. Alternative translations of 'In order'
and 'or equipmt' are also there but scored out.
The form 'leithglos tar' appears to append an extra word onto leithghléas. If the gap is
removed, the entry appears as 'leithghléastar' which looks like a verbal form. The word would
then relate to the autonomous form of the verb 'gléas', ie, 'gléastar'. This seems an unlikely
solution to the entry as 'leithghléastar' would be translate as 'is/are semi-tuned'.
A second option is that the T is an error and that the entry derives from a single written entry
'Leithglos or Luthglass' which became divided into two entries at a later stage. 'Leithglos tar'
and 'Luthglass' appear as separate entries in publication. This situation is likely apply to the
terms 'leagadh' and 'Orleath leagadh' on the same page.
A third possibility is that the terminal R is an error. The form 'tead a leith glass' on p21,
standing for 'téad an leithghléis' (string of semi-tuning), might have been a linguistic alternative
to 'téad an leithghléasta'. Both phrases would mean the same thing, 'gléis' being the genitive
singular of the noun 'gléas' (tuning) and 'gléasta' being the genitive singular of the verbal
noun 'gléasadh' (tuning). This latter form is the one found in the terms crann gléasta (mast of
tuning, ie, harp key) and deuchainn ghleusda (Sc.) / féachaint gléasta (Ir.) meaning 'test of