T40a Come & Try: Wire-strung Clarsach

Sat 10th April - 9:00am

Merchiston Courses - Classroom Space


An opportunity to try the original harp of the Gaels, whether as an experienced gut-strung player or as a complete beginner. For this workshop, fingernails are not necessary, although even short nails will enhance your experience. The long resonance which is characteristic of this clarsach requires a stopped style of playing, where the finger pads damp certain strings to stop excessive ringing, and give both a clear melodic line and supportive harmony. We’ll look at some ancient fingering techniques, try out a simple tune, touch on harp history, and give an opportunity for questions. Instruments provided.

Tutor: Bill Taylor - Bill is a specialist in the performance of ancient harp music from Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and is one of very few players investigating these repertoires on medieval gut-strung harps, wire-strung clarsachs and Renaissance harps with buzzing bray pins. He is one of the foremost interpreters of music in the Robert ap Huw manuscript, containing the earliest harp music in Europe, and he has recorded over 30 CDs. Bill teaches in the Scottish Highlands and works with Ardival Harps in Strathpeffer. He performs with several ensembles, including Canty, Graindelavoix, Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien, Quadrivium and Sinfonye.

No Performances