minstrel: Lap Harps

Tim Connor timcon at flash.net
Tue Jan 16 22:29:54 PST 2001

He doesn't specify in the book.  On the web site he discusses all types.
Responding to Mistress Linette:  I agree that the pictorial evidence is equivocal
at best.  I have seen a photograph (perhaps a daugerrotype) of one of the old Irish
harpers (he looked about 200 in the picture, which was taken in the mid-19th
century) very conspicuously using thumb-under technique.  And  yes, it would be
nice if A L-K included a bibliography.  But I have found that his techniques simply
work better on a small harp than does trying to use standard modern hand positions,
which probably make more sense on a large modern concert harp (not that I've ever
tried to play one).  I suspect that early harpers were simply more pragmatic about
technique than moderns, like most musicians in oral traditions.


Heather Rose Jones wrote:

> >The techniques Joseph describes are similar to those given by Andrew
> >Lawrence-King
> >in his book "Der Harpffenschlager" (the only book I know of on early harp
> >technique).  They are very different from modern harp technique, and
> >will probably
> >horrify most harp teachers.  However, Lawrence-King is the
> >preeminent performer of
> >early music for the harp, so I'm willing to believe he knows what he's talking
> >about.
> Do you know what "flavor" of early harp playing he's working with?
> (I.e., metal vs. gut, brayed or not, etc.)
> Tangwystyl
> --
> *****
> Heather Rose Jones
> hrjones at socrates.berkeley.edu
> *****

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