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The Book of the Harp

Product Code: 1400373

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£12.99

Quick Overview

From its opening pages, where the myth of the harp being derived from the hunter’s bow is dispelled, The Book Of The Harp, provides a thorough and enjoyable guide through the development of the harp.
From its opening pages, where the myth of the harp being derived from the hunter’s bow is dispelled, The Book Of The Harp, provides a thorough and enjoyable guide through the development of the harp. From its genesis in the days of pre-history, as little more perhaps than a bit of broken branch, to the pedal-operated mechanism born in the Eighteenth Century, the family tree of the harp is one rich in story and worth the reading. From harp makers, composers, the principles of fingering, and health and harp-playing, to its connections with religion, literary associations and as an aid to romance, John Manson’s detailed research and exploration of the harp is undoubtedly a valuable and vital work of reference for anyone interested in the harp and its history.
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Specifications

Product Code1400373
NameThe Book of the Harp
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorJohn Marson
ISMNM570244041
ISBN9781844173433
Short DescriptionFrom its opening pages, where the myth of the harp being derived from the hunter’s bow is dispelled, The Book Of The Harp, provides a thorough and enjoyable guide through the development of the harp.
Pack Size1
Size210mm x 153mm
Count256 pages
CoverHardback
Date Published24 Mar 2005
Product Link
...Well produced... clear... gem. Review by Paul Stebbings
Star Rating
It is commendable that Kevin Mayhew agreed to publish this gem. The book is well produced with clear, well-sized print and an attractive coloured outer sleeve. There is one section of excellent illustrations in black and white in the central section. At £14.99 it is really affordable given that it provides as much information as a small encyclopaedia, and will always be a fine reference book.
John Marson is a person who answers everyone's questions about harp matters, and has always been looked upon as a tardis of information, and a great help to harpists worldwide in their quest for information, be it for a student's dissertation or a programme-note for a concert.

This book is unique as it is not only a historical textbook on the harp, but also a most readable and sometimes intriguing and humorous look at various aspects of harping. In all areas, the book has been most thoroughly researched. It is not so easy to find as much meticulous attention to detail as there is here, and it certainly requires years of accessing material from many sources around the world. It is perfectly possible to read just one section of this book at a time, as each part reads like a mini-book in itself, and even if one does not require specific facts and figures one still cannot read through any section without learning something. The book deals with subjects possibly considered touchy by others, from hand positions, gestures and movements, and seating and playing positions, to an approach to stringing and tuning.

What I particularly enjoy in this book is the way that so much is added by the way of extra information. Questions which have troubled harpists for some time are addressed - such as whether Faure's Impromptu Op 86 was composed entirely (or in part) by Faure, or did he have a deal with Hasselmans to write it for him? The Author details many reasons for his conclusion, which is very interesting (even if eventually you choose to disagree).

I thoroughly recommend this book - not merely for the harp specialist, but for anyone interested in a really good read. (Posted on 27/04/2010)

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All this for your enjoyment

1 The Harp prior to the Pedal Operated Mechanism in the Eighteenth Century

2 Inventors of the First Pedal Systems and Appearance of The First Method (1762)

3 Harp Makers, Composers, Method Writers and Female Predominance

4 Approaches to Strings and Tuning and the Use of Different Materials

5 Seating and Playing Positions

6 Hand Positions, Gestures and Movements

7 Principles of Fingering, Tone Production and Care of the Hands

8 Introduction to the Pedal Mechanism, Design Ideas and Single and Double Action Harps

9 Eighth and Ninth Pedals, Damping Techniques, Harmonics as Played and Notated

10 Effects Examined and Ensembles of Harps

11 Modulation, Style of Performance and How to Practise

12 Health and Harp-Playing

13 Matters Ignored in Methods, Glissando Pedal Settings

14 Later Advances in Harp Design and Decoration; Modern Aids for the Player

15 Beginnings of the Pedal Harp Repertoire and Harps in London in the 1790s

16 Later Repertoire to mid Twentieth Century, and Ensemble and Orchestral Use of the Harp

17 The Harp and Spiritual Awareness: The Use of Language Pertaining to the Harp. Celtic Symbolism

18 The Harp and Religion: King David and Angels

19 Social Connections, from Royalty to Street Musicians

20 Poetic and Literary Associations and Representations: the Harp as an Aid to Romance

21 Discordant Voices

22 The Harp in the Theatre and Cinema

Envoi: The Harp as an Emblematic or Ornamental Device. A Recent Scientific Achievement and Maintaining Ideals