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Ringing Strings: The Wire Harp Community's Journal

27th August, 2009. 8:44 am. Bill Taylor on Radio 4 "Today"(hrrunka)

There was a report on the BBC Radio 4 "Today" programme this morning which was covering this story about a carving at Stirling Castle. Bill Taylor featured in the report, giving a short explanation and demonstration. There'll be an audio clip available on the programme website for a week or so. It might also be worth looking out for a report on BBC TV news.

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4th January, 2009. 5:40 pm. New Article on the Early Irish Harp(shrike_15)

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 historical_harp

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9th July, 2008. 8:49 am. Witcher high-headed harp(cherokeepurple)

I'm looking for a picture of one of these... can anyone point me in this direction?

Current mood: hopeful.

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23rd February, 2008. 6:48 pm. Harp site under construction(shrike_15)


during the last days I let my creative powers run free and started to program a website about celtic and historical harps. It's main concern, at the present, is with building a commented and searchable bibliography of books, articles and scores. If you wish to contribute, please do so. Comment to this post or write me an e-mail.

Soon I hope to include an image-map based navigation through the history of the harp. I started with a small world map but got stuck. The problem is where to make divisions. Before I invest further time into this I wanted to discuss the ideas with the community. This is what I came up with:

Europe (with subsequent division on a European map), North/Middle and South America, Africa, Australia, Asia, Sibiria and the Orient.

But I am not happy with this....

If you wish to send bibliographical information - it's good to state author/editor, title, place and year of publication (if known), a short summary and/or keywords. If it's an article please add the publication it is included in with the pages and volume.

Any comments/suggestions are welcome. Just let me know what you think!

x-posted to harp, historical_harp

Current mood: creative.

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30th November, 2007. 8:10 pm. Finally, and first post(jenstclair)

I've been waiting to post until my wire harp arrived. Well, she arrived today, and I can already tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this one.

Current mood: cheerful.

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26th November, 2007. 8:36 am. Tuning?(cherokeepurple)

After tuning my harp to itself for a little while, I need to bring it up to pitch. What would be the lowest note on a '76 Witcher Trinity? I'm guessing it is F or G, but want to make sure.

Current mood: bouncy.

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8th November, 2007. 6:12 pm. Introducing myself(shrike_15)

Sorry for introducing myself so late. I joined the community several weeks ago but did not find the time to write here.

I have never even tried to play the wire-strung harp though I had several opportunities in my life. I cannot tell why. I love the crystalline clear sound of the wire strings.

I started playing at the age of 16 on a celtic harp and stopped after I left school. Since then I played irregularly at most. I sold the celtic harp after I decided to switch to historical harps. I have a gothic harp and an arpa doppia with gut strings.

While I played on the celtic harp I used nylon strings and played with fingernails in the right hand cursing those occasions we had to do games at school which involved a ball. It was too likely to break a nail.

At the moment I do not know for sure what I liked about the harp. I am in a process of finding a way to the instrument and its music.... and that's also why I started the historical_harp community.

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5th November, 2007. 9:43 am. Intro post(runyariel)

  1. I've not played yet.  I'm deciding whether to go with wire or not.  Definitely leaning more toward than against.
  2. Still deciding, but am skippy about the heritage and old school aspect of playing wire.  I'm just not sure I can keep my nails long enough.  I'm exploring options.
  3. I don't have any harps of my own, but I'll likely be putting together kits to start with.  I've put together and custom painted a nylon-strung lap harp for a friend that played concert harp, and really enjoyed the process, and the music that came out of it. 
  4. I'm not sure yet :).
  5. I hope to!
  6. I don't have a teacher yet.  I've got a couple of books, and downloaded a nifty intro to playing wire-strung clarseach.
  7. I'm still deciding ;).  here's the method that i found: http://www.whitetreeaz.com/ezharp/. it's pretty nifty.
  8. Heritage.  I'm a good bit Irish, Scot, Welsh, and Scots-Irish.  i also enjoy harp music immensely, so it all works out.  I wouldn't mind doing some sort of festival bits after i've made myself somewhat presentable thusly.
Other bits about me:   I'm a geek.  I make my living as a software developer. I play online role-playing games.  I read a lot.  I've played several different instruments in the past, though most of them were chosen for me.  I'm hoping that this being my choice is a good thing.  I have two cats.  I've been described as eccentric and quirky :).

Other interests: marine aquaria.  zoos.  used bookstores.  cooking, though I don't cook much for myself.

One other thing:  Please forgive any capitalisation errors on my part.  I tried to make sure it's readable, but the language i write software in lends itself to not capitalising anything.  Fellow players in my gaming guild give me a hard time about it, but they've never seen a post by me with capitals in it, so i continue to subject them to unreadability.  i've tried to spare you folks the horror ;).

Current mood: mellow.

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2nd September, 2007. 9:18 am. silver strings(cherokeepurple)

Hey Gwen,

What size or gauge silver string is on your lowest string on your Witcher? I'm considered adding one to mine and can't figure out the size needed. I've looked online but the size on yahoo groups is .16 inches and that's huge.

Any help is most appreciated.


Current mood: anxious.

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24th August, 2007. 12:35 pm. Witcher Trinity - sound file?(cherokeepurple)

Gwen or anyone else that could help,

I've been looking for a mpg or other sound file of a Witcher Trinity 24 string. Could someone point me in the right direction?


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