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The Historical Harp Society

celebrates events
staged by other musicians,
bards, and storytellers
around historical harps!

Next year we will participate in the

June   2007,
 at the Boston Conservatory
Boston,  MA
partially concurrent with the
 Boston Early Music Festival

For more details contact

Please send your links.  We'll consider all serious suggestions.
There are too many good links for us to find them all ourselves!

Click here for criteria.


Current Events:
Texas Toot   
May 28 - June 3, 2006, Austin, TX  (Yes, there be harps there!)
Early Harp Symposium:  Watch for a June 2007 date,
   usually with the Boston Early Music Festival
,  Boston, MA
Madison Early Music Festival  July 8-15, 2006,  Madison, WI   (featuring  HHS Conference)
Amherst Early Music Festival   July 9-23, 2006,  New London, CT
Early Music Institute  June 10-17, 2006at Longy, New York City, NY
International Baroque Institute  July 21-30, 2006,  at Longy, New York City, NY
Accademia D'Amore  August 17-27, 2006, Seattle, WA
Irish Summer School of Wire-Strung Harp  August 19-25, 2006, Kilkenny, Ireland
Edinburgh International Harp Festival   April 7-12, 2006, Edinburgh, Scotland
Other European festivals 
link page at harpa.com.  Many of these links are out of date, but the variety of festivals listed may aid in your search for that "just-right" experience of the harp.

Schools hosting Early Harp programs:

Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY
Madison Early Music Festival, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Historical Harpists and Harpers:
The International Historical Harp Society
Harp Spectrum
The Historical Harp Society of Ireland: summer workshop

Clarsach.net: networking around the Irish wire harp
The Clarsach Society, U.K.
The Scottish Harp Society of America

Historical Harp Builders and Dealers:
Early MusiChicago, directory of harp makers, U. S. and Europe
Early Music America, builders and repairs directory
The Harp Mall, antique models, several builders and dealers
Ardival Harps, Scotland
Beat Wolf,  Switzerland
,   WA, U.S.A.
Lynne Lewandowski,  VT, U.S.A.
Magus Harps, Germany
Muma Harps, ON, Canada
George Stevens,  Kent, England
Thurau Harps, Germany
Witcher Harps, NY, U.S.A.

On playing historical harps:
Basic practical advice on playing the medieval harp, by Cheryl Fulton
The Spanish Double Harp, by Hannalore DeVaere

Multiple Link Pages:
Simon's harp links
Mike Nielsen's harplust page

Frequesntly Asked Questions,  an old, but still useful, list of dealers and answers to other questions about historical harps

Other Historical Harp Specialists:

OK, I've been surfing too long, time to be apprehended by ... the Harp Police! ...  The Police were apprehended with an Error 404, by Godknowswhatmonster, but they've now been found again!!!.

Criteria for links from our "Other events" page to your site:

We are interested in events that utilize historical harps, particularly events with educational or entertainment value that feature these harps.  We want to maintain a focus on authentic historical connection.

Events may  happen anywhere in the world!

Events may be on-going, periodic, or one-time, but they must be open to the public, with clear answers to: Why?  What is the purpose of the event?  Who is conducting the event? (either individuals, an organization, or both)  What specific things are going to happen? Where is it happening?  When are events happening?  How can an interested person get involved?

Events that are "one-time" rather than on-going must be at least two months (preferably longer)  in the future at the time they are submitted.  There must a time the event is clearly "over," so we will know when to remove the link.

The site to which we link must be maintained and kept up-to-date.  Links to "dead" sites will be periodically removed by the web site secretary.

Where appropriate, we would appreciate a reciprocal link to the Historical Harp Society from your site.  We are always thankful for contributions of time or money that further the cause of the harp

At least one member of the Historical Harp Society board of directors will screen each link submitted for inclusion in our site.  Please allow us lead time.     

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 instrument's strings must be fixed to a soundboard and exert tension upward or away from the board. In all other stringed instruments the strings are parallel to and close to the soundboard, usually by passing over a bridge and attaching to a tail-piece or by attaching directly to the bridge. Early harps are those that were built before the present or most recent century. Relatively few actual early harps survive, so replicas or reconstructions of early types of harps are referred to as "early harps", or "historical 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.

Join us

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.

Membership in the Historical Harp Society is $25 per year. You may join by sending this amount in US funds to , 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.

Bookmark our home page

We will keep information posted about upcoming events. We plan to publish online much of the material that has been accumulated in connection with our annual Conferences.

Content Manager: David C Nelson
update: March 22, 2006