minstrel: Intro

Tibicen tibicen at mixolydian.org
Fri Nov 30 12:34:04 PST 2001

Eloise Beltz-Decker <eloise at ripco.com> asks:
> Has anyone out there done much with using harp to
> accompany storytelling?  

About a year and a half ago, I ran "The Harp+Story Project" in my
barony, in which I paired up storytellers and harpers, and coached
them.  It was for a Beowulf-themed event,and the harp+story duos all
performed there.  I think we had three pairs.

Note, I Am Not A Harpist.  ("So, Tibicen, what's up with your period harp
music book, anyway?")

Anyways, it was a lot of fun for all of us.  It was very accessible to
very beginning harpers, which makes it a fun widely-applicable project.

Speaking of beginning harpers....

I have now had a chance to observe a beginning harper trying to "Teach
Himself to Harp" from Sylvia Woods' book.  I am severely not
impressed.  Indeed, I am finding myself writing exercises for two
local beginning harpers, to try to back-fill over the stuff Sylvia
Woods skips.  I Am Not A Harper[*]: this is absurd.  Can someone
recommend a better beginner's book?

Oh yeah, introductions, for thems that don't know me: I'm Tibicen.  I
live in Carolingia (East).  I'm an early music wonk.  I will play any
historical instrument I can lay hands on.  I sing, and tell the
occasional tale.  If you were at the Ealdormere Bardic Circle on the
last Saturday night of Pennsic, I was the anonymous "flutist" you may
have heard (recorder, actually).  For that matter if you heard a sweet
mornful pipe over the waters of the lake on, um, mid-war Sunday?
night at dusk, that was also me.  Previous Pennsic, I and my band (the
Waytes of Carolingia) played the Masked Ball.  And I played and sang
lots of other times, too.  :) I self-published the book "A Harpable
Danserye" under my mundane name, and maybe a few of you have it.

-- Tibicen

[* But 9 years of piano[**].  Many of the basic issues are the same.
Finger-independence, hand-independence, reading two staves, home
positions, finger strength, accuracy and steadiness....]

[** The only reason I am not a harper is lack of harp (and adequate
technique).  From time to time I borrow one.]

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