Early Harp Workshop
Wednesday 15th November 2006, 1.15 – 1.45pm
A rare chance to play an early clàrsach, or just watch and listen.

The monthly “Wighton harpist” series continues in Dundee Central Library’s Wighton Heritage Centre this coming Wednesday lunchtime (15th Nov), with a practical workshop.

The half-hour FREE session, led by historical harp specialist Simon Chadwick will explore the historical playing techniques of the early clàrsach. There are two ways to participate, both free of charge. Members of the public are welcome to come along on Wednesday lunchtime, to watch the session and listen to the beautiful harp music. Also, there are a few places for those who want the chance to try out a historical harp first-hand.

Our intrepid students will explore the exquisite and ancient beginner tunes used by the last of the old Gaelic harpers in the 18th century, and preserved in manuscripts ever since. The harps they will be playing on Wednesday are accurate replicas of historical instruments preserved in collections in Ireland and Scotland, including a replica of Scotland’s famous medieval Queen Mary harp with strings of silver and gold wire.

At the time of writing there is still one harp available, so if you would like to take part in the hands-on part of Wednesday’s session please book as soon as you can!

No booking is required to come and watch the session – all are welcome and admission is free.

The early clàrsach is a rare and beautiful musical instrument. It was widely played in Scotland as well as Ireland from over 1000 years ago, but it died out in the 18th century as tastes changed and Gaelic culture declined. Its place was taken by a completely different kind of harp, the neo-clarsach with gut or nylon strings, familiar from folk bands and at the Mod. however in recent years there has been a revival of interest in the original historic instrument, especially in Ireland where Simon Chadwick helps run the annual summer school “Scoil na gCláirseach” in Kilkenny. Now the Wighton Harpist project hopes to raise awareness of this ancient and noble but hidden Scottish tradition here.

For more information, photos, or to hear the sound of the early clàrsach please visit www.simonchadwick.net/wighton or call Simon on 01334 474263

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