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Historical Harps
...:.:.::. .:::.

January 2014
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a_tre_ordini [userpic]

Dear harpists,
I'm looking for a triple harp (preferably Welsh, but Italian will also do) to hire for a period 5-9 March in USA for Andrew Lawrence-King for his solo concert in Yale. In other time it wouldn't be a problem to bring his own, but he already there with his Spanish...
The best would be New York, Boston or anything in between, Philadelphia might also do, but only just.
In return - money (of course), huge thanks, everlasting friendship, concert tickets, any kind of historical harp lesson (if you want one) and my Italian triple harp for you to borrow for a concert in case you are playing anywhere in London, Moscow or French Brittany.
HELP, please!

My email: Katya @ theharpconsort.com

rahere [userpic]

Does anyone have a correct set of string weights for a Hobrough Galilei, please? I've just acquired one which is half strung in nylon...the harp is otherwise fine.

a_tre_ordini [userpic]

Christopher Barlow fullsize A440 baroque triple harp for sale. Right now it is in London, can be delivered to anywhere in Europe.

The harp is 6-7 years old, belongs to Andrew Lawrence-King, can be heard on quite a few CDs, including his solo "Chorégraphie", and on all his concert during the last 6 years.
This is probably the best instrument of Barlow we've ever seen. It is in good working condition, sounds lovely. Will be perfect friend for student or professional.

The reason of selling is just Andrew's habit to change the instruments every 5-6 years.

a_tre_ordini [userpic]

 Guildhall School of Music & Drama Harp Department Presents:
SUNDAY 15 MAY 2011
9.30am - 5.00pm

With Andrew Lawrence-King
GSMD Professor of Early Harp

9.30 Arrival and Coffee ALL DAY:

10.00-10.45 Workshop: try Medieval & Renaissance harps
Experiment: Medieval improvisation 

11.00-11.45 Workshop: try baroque Irish harp Exhibition of
Discussion: Celtic or Baroque? Traditional or Authentic? Early Harps

12.00-1.00 Workshop: try Spanish double harp & Italian triple harp
Experiment: Continuo & Improvisation

1.00-2.00 Lunch Break

2.00-2.30 Recital by Andrew Lawrence-King 

2.30-3.00 Q & A and TRILL CLINIC:
Bring your style problems and ornament nightmares

3.15- 4.00 Workshop: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly 
Experiment: Rhythm & Dances Masterclass: HANDEL HARP CONCERTO 

4.15-5.00 Workshop: Try 18th-century harp technique
Masterclass: MOZART FLUTE & HARP CONCERTO Book your place:
(Bring your own flautist or borrow ours)
Discussion: Empfindsamkeit, CPE Bach



Guildhall School

Lecture Recital Room, Silk St, Barbican,

London EC2Y 8DT
Tel: 020 7435 6458

Admission FREE, but advanced booking is ESSENTIAL
as places strictly limited 

a_tre_ordini [userpic]

As most of us know, historical harps presume the different hand position from modern ones (basicly, invented with the change of angle, tension, construction of instrument and general aestetyc of music around the middle of 18th century - the time when single-action harp appears). Thumb under, gentle pluck, both hands on the soundboard, 2-3-2-3 going up, 1-2-1-2 going down, 5th finger used when needed, no classical "chains" of fingers in legato... and a lot more.
I play Italian triple, medieval and Gothic harps. When I first tried authentic style, that seemed to me rather weird, but after several hours already I realised that it works with the music phrasing of that time, fits the construction and makes my life a lot easier.
Very often, actually, I meet those who came to the early harps after playing modern pedal harp. When the talk goes into aestetyc, phrasing, rhythm, fingering and hand position, I usually hear the magic phrase: "Well, I don't care. I play how I'm used to." And as a result, we hear something supposingly written in 15/16/17th century performed in completely modern 19th century way.
Then - what's the point of having early instrument and playing early music in modern way? Looks to me the same like frying the pancakes on lipstick, to be honest.

And what do you, folks, do?

a_tre_ordini [userpic]

Historical technique, period style, tactus, continuo, ornamentation,tuning, temperaments, improvisation, sprezzatura, poetics, word-painting, toccatas, diminutions, continuo songs, early opera & early oratorio.

2 Italian triple harps & a variety of other instrumentsfrom Andrew’s collection will be freely available.
Continuo organ will freely available.Continuo harpsichord can be hired(Enquire for details)

OPEN TO: Harp (any type of harp, any level of experience), theorbo, guitar, keyboards, singers etc.

COURSE FEE: £100 per day (Saturday & Sunday)

Friday 29th Oct 1800 (Welcome & Introduction Workshop) No fee for Friday evening
Saturday 30th Oct 10-13 1430-1730 (Classes & Workshops)
Sunday 31st Oct 10-13, 1430-1730 (Classes & Workshops)


TUTOR: Andrew Lawrence-King

For information on travel to Guernsey and local accommodation: www.VisitGuernsey.com or contact us.

CONTACT: Info@TheHarpConsort.com


Andrew Lawrence-King

Baroque-harp virtuoso and imaginative continuo-player, Andrew Lawrence-King is recognised as one of the world’s leading performers of early music. A creative and inspiring conductor, he has led baroque operas and oratorios at La Scala, Milan; Sydney Opera House; Casals Hall, Tokyo; Berlin Philharmonie; Vienna Konzerthaus; and New York’s Carnegie Hall.With Luz y Norte (1994), and Italian Concerto, Andrew began a series of award-winning recordings as soloist and director of The Harp Consort, continuing with Missa Mexican and Miracles of Notre Dame on Harmonia Mundi USA. He has also recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons & Handel's first opera, Almira. Andrew's latest solo CD is Chorégraphie.Andrew's work on 17th-century dances with Steven Player & The Harp Consort has won the ensemble an unparalleled reputation for stylish and entertaining stage-shows, and the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council awarded him a three-year Fellowship at Sheffield University to research early Spanish opera and oratorio. He is Principal Guest Director of Concerto Copenhagen, Scandinavia's leading baroque orchestra and a regular guest director with early music ensembles, baroque and modern orchestras worldwide.Dr Lawrence-King is Professor of Early Harp at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London and teaches at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen.

Okay, my time with LJ is at an end.

I took the liberty to set a_tre_ordini, cantrix_caeca, sailing_harper, songsforthesea to be maintainers for now, just to ensure that the community is not lost to the seas of unmoderation. You can unselect yourselves in the 'Manage Members' section....

JW [userpic]

This may seem like a no-brainer to some people, but I am curious: I've heard that wire strings sound an octave lower than expected... but do the measurements compare to nylon or gut string measurements?

Curt Sachs wrote in 1922, I translate: "[....] the chromatic harp on the contrary is intended for the higher purposes of art and recently attempts to replace the pedal harp." (C. Sachs -- Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Berlin 1922, col.185-6)

I assume he is talking about the chromatic harp Pleyel tried to market.

Okay, I cannot hold back a little thinking going on inside of my head, for at the moment I see many images of historical instruments. All these possibilities to build double basses.... Happy times that have been when there was still the power of invention and a sense of diversity.

Current Mood: workingworking

I already have posted the recording of this experiment I made on my journal but think that this fits nicely in the community, though you might want to write "early" with some additional vowels. ,->

The Music Bow is made from a branch (bark not removed) and an old guitar string, which should do it for now. The music bow is not a real harp for the string gets pressed against the branch in order to play several pitches. Resonator is the mouth cavity or in case of the recording the computer itself....

Later you have a harp type like the one the lady in the centre is playing in this video:

Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed

Recently, I started to think about the usage of bray pins again.

My Gothic harp has brays but I never used them for more then short experiments. Not that I don't like the sound of it, it is just that I don't see them fitting for almost all of the music I play on this instrument at the moment, which consists of transcriptions of vocal compositions.

What do you think about the topic? Do you use brays?

Current Mood: curiouscurious

When I received my copy of Early Music magazine (Vol. XXXVI, No. 4 / November 2008), I was eager to get to read the article by Simon Chadwick titled The early Irish harp. (An online version can be obtained at the Oxford Journals website.) He is no scholar and that obviously as in taking a (wobbly) thesis for fact sometimes, but his article may hopefully inspire new research.

x-posted to wireharp

Current Mood: goodgood

At the moment I work through a piece from the Ars Subtilior and need to fret both the lower string of a concord and the upper string. Lower strings are not a problem, but if the upper string has to be shortened the sound is not good enough. Its dullness dominates.

I use two different techniques - either I stop the string by pressing it against the neck, or I push the fingernail under the string to form some kind of bridge (both times with the left hand). The audible result is almost the same, though the latter technique allows for playing with the left at the same time.

Has anyone used fretting techniques? How do you do it and do you like the outcome?
Any suggestions, ideas?

Current Mood: nerdynerdy

Hi everybody,

I'm a theorbo player, not a harp player, and I'm lurking around (hope you don't mind) because I've seen some of you being occupied with theorbo music, and some others do ensemble music together with lutes. I'd be happy to have some exchanges with those of you to who it concerns.

Tadziu [userpic]

Just want to say Hello. I was a student of Cheryl Ann Fulton, although I also took a lesson from Martha Blackman. I had played various historical harps. In the past I owned a Tim Hobrough Medieval Harp, an Ardival Rosemarkie, a Cambell Ghent, a Thurau Cellini (I was the one who commissioned Thurau to build the black harp), and a Lewindowski Romanesque. I also owned a Lewindowski psaltery. Currently I only have one harp, a Tim Hobrough Medieval Cross Strung 20+19, previously owned by evergrey, and an EMS psaltery. The Hobrough was broken when it was purchased by Eve, and I subsequently fixed it.

I played various music from different era. From Cabezon and Trabaci to Richard I and Hildegaard. I also consider my harp as a spiritual instrument.

The reason why I also bring up psaltery is that I play it as if it were a harp. It is a historically correct method, among other playing styles, based on iconography.

There are still some work needed to be done on my harp. The harp needs to be restrung, and Tim will send me an email giving me, hopefully, tuning instructions and stringing chart. I still have plenty of gut strings left.

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