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Harps and Harpists by Roslyn Rensch
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Harps and Harpists

by Roslyn Rensch

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This book is an in-depth reference on many harp associated topics.
It covers the history of the harp development, the history of music composed for it, history of harp playing as a profession, short biographies of many harpists and harp makers, indexes of harp players through history, references to all music composed for or transcribed for the harp through its publication date of 2007, thorough descriptions of the many harp related periodicals through time including the present ones, all the harp conferences and competitions over the last 100 years, up through mid 2007.

I found many parts of the book very interesting. As a reference on harp music and playing it is superb and very thorough.

There is even CD included, labeled "Some of the Many Voices of the Harp" So if the text reference isn't enough, you even have an audio reference. ( )
  billsearth | Dec 14, 2015 |
Dryish but with a good bibliographyy
  CathyLeming | Dec 31, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0253348935, Hardcover)

This book could well be subtitled "everything you ever wanted to know about the harp, but didn't know enough to ask." It's all here, from the birth of the harp in ancient times (harps, generally shaped more or less like a J, with one side open, are pictured in artworks dating back several millennia) through its development--acquiring the column, or "forepillar" that makes it three-sided--in medieval Europe; from the first pedal harps to the computerized Camac "memory" harp. Roslyn Rensch, a professor of harp, addresses everything from Welsh bards and that aristocratic harpist Marie Antoinette to the late-20th-century return to interest in various small folk harps and Andreas Vollenweider and his electronically enhanced instruments.

This is the paperback edition of a book originally published in 1989. It is lavishly illustrated (the picture credits run to five pages) and exhaustively footnoted. Although Harps and Harpists is certainly written with a rather narrow core audience in mind--readers who are involved personally or professionally with harps--it is quite readable. It should also interest readers who are curious about the social history of ethnic Celtic societies in which the harp played a significant cultural part, and of 18th-century France. --Sarah Bryan Miller

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:24 -0400)

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