Sam Rowsome (1895 - 1951)
The following extract is from the book “Irish Minstrels and Musicians” by Captain Francis O’Neill. (Published: 1913)
Murder will out, and so will music, and, though the days of fostering patronage and encouraging recognition are past, the divine art, whether begotten of nature’s whim, or vitalized as a manifestation of the laws of heredity, may be relied on to find some outlet for expression, but it will be noticed that environment and opportunity have much to do with determining the favored instrument.
To maintain the traditions of his family, what else could this promising scion be but an Irish piper, his father, and grandfather, before him having been worthy representatives of the class? Had they been fiddlers, no doubt he would have followed in their footsteps. Still we must rejoice in his choice, for, while we are likely to have with us always raspers, fiddlers, and even violinists, we cannot but regret that performers on the Union or Irish pipes-the real national instrument of the people-are declining in numbers year by year and may eventually become extinct, like the harpers, their predecessors.
This young musical aspirant, on whom will depend to a considerable degree the preservation of his art, is the eldest son of William Rowsome, piper and pipemaker of Harold’s Cross, Dublin, and grandson of Samuel Rowsome of Ballintore, Wexford, elsewhere mentioned.
Born September 25, 1895, he commenced his musical practice under his father’s tuition when but twelve years of age. Such was his proficiency on both chanter and regulators that he won many prizes, and had been highly commended for taste and style by the best judges of pipe music, though but a boy of only sixteen birthdays.
If appearance counts for anything, we are justified in assuming that the future has no small distinction in store for him.
The instrument on which he is represented as playing in the picture was manufactured by his father, and is of full tone and concert pitch, blending harmoniously with violin and piano.