The Gaelic word translated in Bunting as 'sound' or 'harmony' is spelled in the 1840
Introduction as 'fuigheall' on p28 but as 'fuaidhghel' on p33, 'fuaidhghail' on p36 and
'fuadhghail' in MS37. 'Arthur O' Neill, &c' are marked as the source of the p33 & p36 versions
of the word which shows a letter A in the first syllable. The '&c' here may indicate written
sources as Bunting's entry for the word 'urnaidhm' is marked likewise, and this latter word gives
every indication of coming from written sources. However, the '&c' may indicate contemporaries
and not necessarily Gaelic harpers.
Bunting scores out the 'fuaidhghail' spelling in his vocabulary in MS34 f58r and also the word
'sound'. Despite scoring out the word 'sound' in MS34, it is that word which is given as a
meaning in publication opposite the spellings 'fuigheall' and 'fuaidhghail'. The term is
translated as 'harmony' only on p33.
The term appears in print earlier than Bunting in footnote (t) in p65 of Joseph Cooper Walker's
Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards (1786).
Walker is likely to be quoting his spellings from a written text supplied by the Rev. Beauford
rather than by word of mouth. The spelling is extremely confused, even internally within words.
The intrusive letters D and DH are duplicative of GH: DH and GH sound the same in Gaelic and
historically were often interchanged in the spelling of the language. The ending '-el' is typical of
medieval MS spelling but the spelling of the word 'aon' (one) as 'uan' is difficult to account for.
In the past, the word 'aon' has been variously spelled in manuscripts as 'aon', 'aen', 'óen', 'oín',
'éan' and 'én'. However, the positing of a U vowel into the spelling seems a marked divergence
from spelling and represents a significantly different pronunciation of the word. It might
however derive from the root of the words 'úate' (oneness) and 'úathad' (singular).
(t) Mr. O'Halloran informed me, that the Irish had technical terms for the Notes, but he
could not furnish me with any of them. But from Mr. Beauford I obtained the Irish
names of the notes for the Harp, viz. Uan fuaighel, (single harmony) Fuaidhghel mor,
(great harmony) and Fuaidghil bheag, (little harmony). " I am not certain (says my kind
informant) whether these terms relate to the notes answering to our Minum, Crotchet,
and Quaver ; to the movements as Adagio, Andante, and Allegro, or to different
species of Counterpoint ; but the Irish harp could of itself have little Counterpoint."