By Osian Ellis
Osian Ellis appears to be like on the improvement of the device, from the emergence of the easy frame-harp to the refinements of the triple harp. He tells of the lives and abilities of the musicians themselves, from the harpists of the center a long time via to the recognized figures of the eighteenth and 19th centuries - Blind John Parry and John Thomas - and people of newer years. This publication has whatever for everybody, giving a wide define of the tale of the harp in Wales, and but together with incisive insights into a few elements that have no longer sooner than been coated in such an available kind.
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Extra info for The Story of the Harp in Wales
The Italian artist, Domenico Zampieri (15811641) in his painting of King David, which can be seen at the Palace of Versailles near Paris, shows the ornate triple harp of his time. The three ranks of strings are clearly shown; the two outer rows were tuned alike, in a diatonic scale (say, in C major like the white notes of the piano), and the inner row of strings would give the intermediate chromatic notes (or the equivalent of the black notes on the piano). The harpist would tune the two outer ranks to correspond with whatever key he was to play in, and he would tune the centre row to give the corresponding chromatic notes.
But Parry had already made a name for himself all over England and Wales; there are accounts of his concerts in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds and also in Dublin. It appears that the great Handel admired his playing, and Parry would delight in playing Handel's music on the harp. The Leeds Mercury in 1742 gives an account of one of his programmes: music by Corelli, Vivaldi, Geminiani, a Grand Concerto by Mr Handel, and some English and Scotch airs to round off the evening. The Handel Harp Concerto in B flat was the one written for another Welshman, William Powell, harpist to the Prince of Wales, for whom Handel wrote several orchestral parts in dramatic works like Julius Caesar, Saul and Alexander Balus.
Siôn Tudur again: Galar i bawb, gwael yw'r byd, A gwael fydd y gelfyddyd. ) William Cynwal on the death of the harper, Robert ap Hywel Llwyd: Gwae ni yn hir gan wanhau Gardd dyner y gerdd dannau. and his sad grave, a full coffer of music, is the sealed chest of Clymau Cytgerdd. < previous page page_46 next page > < previous page page_47 next page > Page 47 I have dwelt at length with this body of music, for, though it may have become corrupt by the time of Robert ap Huw, nevertheless, it illustrates the essential nature of the music in Wales during the Middle Ages, flourishing alongside the poetry of the bards.
The Story of the Harp in Wales by Osian Ellis