minstrel: Robert ap Huw

Patricia Yarrow yarrowp at mscd.edu
Mon Aug 14 15:04:20 PDT 2000


Greetings.

<<I've recently come across a recording of Robert ap Huw for the harp.  It's 
inspiring stuff!  It's rich, loud, and exciting music for the traditionally 
tinkly harp.>>

My firfst question to you:  whose recording?  Is it all ap Huw?  Who did the 
transcription from the tablature?  I'd recommend Bill Taylor, and some of 
Peter Crossley-Holland (sp?) so far as transcriptions go.  I would not 
recommend Ossian Ellis (personal opinion).

<<First question:  What's the conventional wisdom -- is RAH period? >>

Portions are definitely period (the Penlyn section was copied from an earlier 
manuscript).  Ap Huw's manuscript is dated from 1613, and are considered to 
represent a living tradition.  His portions of the manuscript are consistent 
with the Penlyn.  Some of the gosteggiau are referenced in earlier 
manuscripts by title.
 
<<Could we 
sneak it in to an enchanted circle assuming the music was documented at 
least three years after it was played?  One could argue that since the 
recordings are modern interpretations of a sorta-period cryptic manuscript 
of playing styles, performed transcriptions of those recordings are wild 
guesses in the first place and therefore inappropriate.

<<Second question:  if it IS period, is this music already "done"?  Would any 
of you cringe if you heard a Huw Gosteg opening a Bardic Circle?>>

Not if it were done appropriately.  I would especially enjoy hearing your own 
interpretation as to tuning, etc.

<<Tangwystyl mentioned in an earlier post that there really isn't much period 
material available for Welsh harpers.  What other sources have folks found?>>

Ap Huw is really the definitive collection.  I would strongly suggest 
visiting Master Gregory's scan of the facsimile, posted to 
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ap_huw/
(as always, a thousand thanks to Master Gregory!).  There is bibliographic 
material and some commentary to be found as well as the facsimile of the 
manuscript.

<<I appeal to your collective wisdom.

Respectfully,

-- Leucum merch Ouein>>

With much interest,
Vivien

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