To cultivate, foster, sponsor, and develop
appreciation of the art, history, literature
and uses of historical harps.
To promote appreciation of and to raise the
level of proficiency in the performance and
use of historical harps.
To keep historical harp makers and performers,
along with other friends of the historical harp,
informed about literature and activities
pertaining to historical harps, and to provide
occasions for them to meet.
To promote the use of historical harps as professional
instruments, and to encourage their use among amateurs.
To encourage the reconstruction of historical harps.
To collect and disseminate information regarding the
construction of and performance upon historical harps.
The Historical Harp Society is currently engaged in a search for an official logo. Anyone interested in submitting a design for consideration may send a scanned version to the Bulletin Editor at . The logo should be: entirely original, reproducible in a variety of sizes, and thematically related to the purposes and goals of the society. There is no cash payment to those submitting logos or to the designer of the selected logo. The designer must be willing to surrender, in writing, ownership of the logo to the Historical Harp Society. Multiple submissions are welcome. Submissions consisting of or including related logos for various society functions are also welcome (for example, a designer might make one main logo and related sub-logos for the workshop and conference or the bulletin or other society projects or functions). The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2006.
Come celebrate with us.
For our 23nd Annual Conference and Workshop
we will return to the Madison Early Music Festival,
which will be at the University of Wisconsin,
Madison, WI, July 7-15, 2005.
Conference July 7-8
Workshop July 8-15
Visit the workshop page (Click the link.) for more details.
22nd Annual Conference and Workshop
Conference July 15-17
was with the Amherst Early Music Festival,
at Bennington College,
Bennington, VT, July 17-23, 2005.
21st Annual Conference and Workshop
Conference July 9-11
Workshop July 11 -17, 2004
was with the Madison Early Music Festival
The University of Wisconsin,
We were present at the
The Early Harp Symposium
June 10-15, 2005
at the Boston Conservatory,
partially concurrent with the Boston Early Music Festival
Rochester Harp Festival
May 21 - 23, 2004,
at the Eastman School of Music
Welcome to the website of the
Historical Harp Society
The Historical Harp Society was formed in 1990 for North American friends of the harp interested in the exchange of ideas and information about early harps, their construction, and their music. The Society is devoted to encouraging research on the building of early harps, harp music of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque, and the playing techniques of those eras and their harps.
The Society distributes a lively and informative newsletter four times per year to help members exchange ideas, questions, enthusiasms, and awareness of kindred spirits. The Society also interacts with its European counterpart.
Every year the Society sponsors a Conference and Workshop devoted to the early harp. A wealth of information is contributed at this meeting.
What exactly are historical harps?
A harp is a musical instrument with multiple strings normally tuned to form a scale of some sort. To be a harp the strings must be fixed to a soundboard and exert tension upward or away from the board. All other stringed instruments press down or against the soundboard, usually by passing over a bridge. Actual "early harps" are those that were built before the later 20th century. Relatively few such early harps survive, so replicas or reconstructions of early types of harps are referred to as early harps. More information can be found here.
Why is this interesting?
The study of historical harps appeals on a number of different levels. Harps are visually interesting. There is symbolism which comes from the uses to which harps have historically been set. The music of specific times and places is better understood when rendered on the instrument for which it was composed. Playing the harp with appropriate techniques can take you into the aesthetic of those times and places. All of this is a search for understanding.
Membership in the Historical Harp Society is $25 per year. You may join by sending this amount in US funds to Jean Humphrey, 631 N. 3rd Avenue, St. Charles IL 60174. Be sure to include information about any harps that you own and whether you are a teacher, student, performer, researcher, or simply want to know more about early harps.
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In the future, information will be posted here about upcoming events. There are plans to publish online much of the material that has been accumulated in connection with our annual Conferences.
Web Site Host:
Design: Daniel Sullivan
Content Manager: David C Nelson
update: March 2, 2006