minstrel: Lap Harps

Pat Yarrow yarrowp at mscd.edu
Mon Jan 15 07:19:55 PST 2001


Hello, Morag.

First, I'd like to second what Tangwystyl wrote.

If you're looking at playing wirestrung harp, I'd strongly recommend Ann
Heymann's _Secrets of the Gaelic Harp_, or, if you can't find that one (it's
out of print), her _A Gaelic Harper's First Tunes_.  You can buy the latter
directly from her at Clairseach, P.O. Box 637, Winthrop, MN, 55396-0637.
I'm sorry, I don't know the current price structure.  Be sure to inquire
about the tape as well as the book.   This method also works for nylon or
gut strung harp.

For nylon, I recommend Alison Kinnaird's _Small Harp Tutor_.  This used to
be available with a tape and has recently been reissued with a CD.  Some of
her terminology is incorrect (she refers to a B diminished chord as B minor,
for example) but her arrangements are much more idiomatic for Celtic harp
than are Sylvia Woods'.  I use this book to supplement Ann's for my wire
harp students, by the way.  You need some modifications in finger position
and damping, but the pieces she chose are very compatible with Ann's
teaching tunes.  Laurie Riley also has a method book out, which I would
recommend below Alison Kinnaird's but above Sylvia Woods'.

There is a wirestrung harp list on egroups.  You can subscribe to it by
going to
http://www.egroups.com/group/WireHarp

Bill Taylor, the expert on the ap Huw manuscript, recently joined the wire
harp list.

I'd be happy to give you any help I can; just drop me a line privately.

Vivien

__________
Morag wrote:

I am looking into buying a lap harp and could do with some advice.
I was posted a catalogue of harps from a local maker. The one I like best
had a caption at the bottom saying that it could also be bought with
'bronzed strings'. What is the difference between these and regular nylons?
And does anyone know where i can pick up some online hints on learning to
play? Thanx. I remain-

Yours in service,
Morag
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