Bunting was born in County Armagh,
he became an apprentice organist in Belfast at the early age of
eleven, and lived with the family of Henry Joy
In 1792 the Belfast
Harp Festival was organized, it was realized that much of Irelands
traditional music would die out if it were not recorded. Bunting
was employed to note down the tunes as they were played.
Later he set out on a several
tour of Ulster and Connacht, collecting further specimens of Irish
music. His general collection of Irish music was published in 1796,
he later added to his collection and published several more. Today
his books are an important source of Irish music, and have influences
many famous people such as Henry Moore and Robert Emmet.