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Lasairíona Duignan

revised by Barra R. Boydell

(d Dublin, 1813). Irish composer, music publisher and instrument maker. George Petrie considered him to have been the ‘most eminent British composer of military music in his time’. A Collection of Quick and Slow Marches, Troops &c. can be dated 1795–8. A square piano dated 1796 bears Holden’s name (possibly as seller rather than maker). In 1805, described as a ‘military music master and instrument maker’, he had premises in Arran Quay, Dublin. Nothing further is known about Holden’s apparent activities as an instrument maker. In 1806 he moved to Parliament Street, where he opened a music shop and began publishing, largely his own music although this continued to be issued by other Dublin publishers. On his death the business was continued by his widow until about 1818. Holden's publications included A Collection of Old Established Irish Slow and Quick Tunes (c1807); many of the airs may have been collected by his son Francis Holden. The elder Holden published two more collections of Irish music (issued periodically), collections of Welsh tunes, masonic songs and country dances, numbers of marches and quick steps, often dedicated to specific regiments and corps, and many individual songs and other instrumental pieces....