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Old Jul 29 2009, 10:12 PM   #1
Lady Maelin
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Default Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Do you think all Harpers, no matter what they ended up doing as a working Harper job...would know how to play and instrument?

When Menolly first arrived at the Harper Hall...she was tested on how to make and then play several of the instruments available at the Harper Hall...do you think that all of the Harper students would have learned to play at least one of them?
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Old Jul 30 2009, 03:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

I think it depends on the Harper. Piemur had his "voice" as an instrument and once it broke then he took up with drums. Sebel knew how to play guitar and drums. My thought would be that most harpers know about their own respective instruments but not all of what was available to them.
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Old Jul 30 2009, 03:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Yes, every Harper will be able to play an instrument, even if only a simple one. I think it's said somewhere in the books of the Harper Hall trilogy (by Piemur) that all Harper are required to.
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Old Jul 30 2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Piemur could play an instrument I forget which one. He was not great at it.
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Old Jul 30 2009, 09:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

They might not be fabulously proficient at it, but all Harpers can play at least one instrument, probably several. And unless they're good at at least one, I doubt they pass from apprentice to journeyman.
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Old Jul 30 2009, 09:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

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Piemur could play an instrument I forget which one. He was not great at it.
Piemur played the drum(s) very reasonable.
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Old Jul 30 2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

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Piemur played the drum(s) very reasonable.
I'd say more than very reasaonable, as quickly as he was able to pick up the beats. Remember that he got beat up for being too good too quickly.

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Old Jul 30 2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

You are correct, GH. But I actually wasn't thinking of the message drums but of the accompanying drums for musical pieces. Remember he played pots and pans for the miner's?
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Old Jul 30 2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

I am sure that every Harper sang and knew music but the less "musically inclined" might be the ones going into the "other side of the business". If not music then art/painting and such....The original Harper Hall was a college and more varied I think...
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Old Jul 30 2009, 12:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

If I remember (books not unpacked) Piemur's complains that he can't make instruments. There's certainly no record of him ever playing one (except the pots and pans)
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Old Jul 30 2009, 01:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

I remember Piemur playing the guitar on one occasion, but there was something about him managing OK as long as there were other instruments to drown out his mistakes.

A lot of boys were taken in very young as boy sopranos, and got sent home (or sent out as assistants to other harpers) if they didn't develop enough other harper abilities to graduate as journeymen. There may have been different requirements for teaching harpers (ability to sing, play, make at least pipes and drums, and teach the basic curriculum) and, say, archivists, legalists, cartographers, solo singers, etc (basic harper abilities and special abilities in other fields).

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Old Jul 30 2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

From All the Wyers of Pern . . .

“I’ve a new song from Menolly,” Master Robinton said, gesturing for Piemur to bring him his gitar and to get his own. He unrolled the score, passing a copy to Jancis to put on the rack for Piemur. “An odd tune, unusual for our Masterharper Menolly. She says the words were written by young Harper Elimona,” he went on, plucking a string to tune the instrument. Piemur corrected the pitch of his and, reading the music, soundlessly fingered through the chords. “But a lovely haunting melody and words to lift hearts at this point in a Pass.”

Then he nodded to Piemur and they began. Having sung and played so often together, they interwove and harmonized as if they had rehearsed the brand-new song a hundred times already.
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Old Jul 31 2009, 12:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

I knew that most all of them had some knowledge of music...but just wasn't sure if I was right in their all being able to play something. I would think that all of them could at least play the percussion instruments...the drum, the tamborine and perhaps a little bit of the simple pipes.
Thank you Bob12...I could remember Piemur playing something other than the drums and pots and pans...just not when or where.
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Old Jul 31 2009, 04:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

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If I remember (books not unpacked) Piemur's complains that he can't make instruments. There's certainly no record of him ever playing one (except the pots and pans)
Read Dragondrums again as he did learn to play the drums and I think in a latter part of Dragondrums (it may possibly be another book later on) where Piemur looks at a hollow tree on the Southern continent and thinks that it would make a good drum - he also played the drums or similiar when Robinton (perhaps it was Sebell?) sent him a message via the drums and Piemur replied (or maybe it was the other way round?) when Piemur was at Toric's Hold. I shall have to re-read this book myself to clarify but I'm sure it was written somewhere along those lines.
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Old Jul 31 2009, 01:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

I got the impression that all Harpers could play at least one instrument (including voice as an instrument) to the proficiency of, say, a high school orchestra or band. That is to say, you generally knew where to put your fingers, and if the notes were higher on the staff you played higher notes, and if they were lower you played lower notes, and with a stronger player leading the beat you could do ok.

I get the impression that outside of voice, Piemur is a Harper of average musical talent, and probably overshadowed by Robinton and Robinton's other more musically-varied Apprentices. He probably got better as he grew older. It did state somewhere that he had a hard time making instruments good enough to get a stamp of approval to sell for marks at a Gather; even so, you can still have mediocre talent at making instruments and be able to look at a material such as a tree trunk and know if it'd make a halfway decent instrument.

If I were making "character sheets" of a few Harpers' abilities, I'd do something like this...

Sebell I suspect was very good at two or three instruments, could probably do solos and conduct, but didn't compose regularly. (He's a performer, not a composer) He was a good actor, and good at being social and at doing politics.

Menolly I see as being very talented at composing, at playing several instruments across different families (drums, harps, gitars, pipes, fiddles, etc), singing (although her voice is non-classic and better suited to folk singing than opera-like singing), and probably at making instruments as well. I see her as being a mediocre actor but probably underestimated and overlooked which let her get away with more than another person standing in her spot with the same talent might, and not particularly interested in politics except where she had to be to assist Robinton and Sebell.

Piemur used to be good at voice but no longer sings regularly or solos (more I suspect due to self-criticism than a truly crappy adult voice), probably plays a few mainstay instruments (gitar, drums) competently but not like a virtuoso (probably doesn't solo on them either), isn't particularly good at making them. His greatest talents are his mind and his non-musical talents. He is a very good actor when he wishes to be. (He doesn't always wish to be.)

(With computers and stuff becoming known, and Piemur's abilities with the new computers, I could see Piemur turning a medicore but trained adult voice into something better by recording songs and faffing around with them in a synth or computer. A lot of modern music artists have voices that have an interesting feature that makes them interesting to listen to, but which aren't very strong in a classical or traditional sense...they're too soft, or have flaws when they try to belt notes out, which is why you get albums that are pretty cool but live shows that are pretty bad from some artists. Piemur at least has the voice control and can hit a pitch, no matter if his voice isn't great. If he wanted to, he could make it an asset with recorded music, since you can do infinite "re-dos" to get the best recording from a mediocre voice.)

Robinton is a good composer, has a good likely solo-worthy voice albeit a baritone and not a tenor, is skilled with many instruments across many families, is a great actor, and was a quick study with instrument making but not a virtuoso (seemed like the one aspect of music he had to actually study or work hard for, but per Dragonsinger his Journeyman instrument is the best pick of the lot Menolly had to choose from. He also made a harp for Kasia, and if he was truly bad at it I figure he would have done something else, so he was probably on the lower end of "good" at it, but not a natural like he was with other aspects of the Craft). He also obviously was great at politics and at diplomacy.
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Old Jul 31 2009, 05:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Piemur copied Menolly's multi pipes in RoP, when he made the trip from Southern Hold to Cove Hold. He played them the second night at what became later on Paradise River Hold.

He must have learn how to make message drums well for he was setting up Drumhights in Southern Hold in RoP.

He learned how to make maps right working with N'ton and other which I can't quite recall right now. "Sigh"

I don't recall which book or if its an overlap RoP or WD when he tells how he uses his fire lizard to do exploring/charting. Like Jaxom used Ruth around the Cove Hold area, before Piemur came.

Also here is a idea, perhaps they learn the basic, as they show what they can do they go into special training later on, or depend on which branch or branches of the Harper Hall. Piemur was "told off" to the DrumMaster in the open. he was part of the special one working for the MasterHarper Robinton.

SoP the MasterPrinter Tag craftmaster met one of those who gather information once. In RoP "Harper spy" was able to help out there. The MasterHarper of Pern: Nip/Tuck too.

For SoP Pinch recalled his time at the Harper Hall.
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Old Aug 1 2009, 10:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Did Master Arnor play an instrument? He was a craftmaster at the Harper Hall - Master Archivist - but I can't recall if he could do anything musically.

I've always thought of the Harper Hall as the catch-all place to send kids when they showed now talent for anything else. Come from a glassmaking family but can't tell the difference between the types of sand and what glass they would make? Send 'm to the Harper Hall. Maybe they can find out what his talent is.

Harpers are the arbitrators of Pern - so even if you're tone deaf and musically impaired, if you are absolutely fan-tastic at discerning the truth between two people, then the Harper Hall would take them in.

How about accountants? I can't think of any other Hall that would handle accounting. And I don't care how primitive or advanced your society is - you would need to have someone good with numbers to determine how rich/poor you are.

Harpers are the teachers of Pern. Granted, music is the best way to teach, and that is what they do, but you don't have to have a shred of musical inclination to be a great teacher. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Harper teachers had students who could sing, or sync a beat, much better than they could.
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Old Aug 1 2009, 05:14 PM   #18
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

What do you think would happen if a Harper couldn't make or play any kind of instrument, or even read sheet music, but they excelled in just about every other subject?
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Old Aug 1 2009, 08:35 PM   #19
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2cent Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

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What do you think would happen if a Harper couldn't make or play any kind of instrument, or even read sheet music, but they excelled in just about every other subject?
Good one. Perhaps, they had more of an able to be an archives, send by their home Hold/Hall/Weyr Harper with a letter or examples of he/she can do.
A few drawing of the area were they are based. Or a translating or log of a trip taken to some other place.
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Old Aug 2 2009, 02:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

I remember it was mentioned that all children were "encouraged" to try to learn at least one instrument. Also singing was a evening passtime. There was a "Artist Hall" (as mention in Red Star Rising by Iantine) but it was never mentioned it was associated with the Harper Hall. It may have been its own hall but was not much weight given it for it had little to do with the main line of the stories.
Also don't forget that AVIS was told that some Harpers only teach.
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Old Aug 2 2009, 09:16 AM   #21
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

If all Harpers (or even majority) required to sing/play instruments then how did Sebell manage (so easily) to alter the Harper Hall into a less musically inclined Hall especially after the death of Robinton? I will have to search for the quote when I am able to get my books. Either ROP or Skies if I recall correctly...maybe Dolphin lol
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Old Aug 2 2009, 03:59 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Emeraldrose View Post
If all Harpers (or even majority) required to sing/play instruments then how did Sebell manage (so easily) to alter the Harper Hall into a less musically inclined Hall especially after the death of Robinton? I will have to search for the quote when I am able to get my books. Either ROP or Skies if I recall correctly...maybe Dolphin lol
Emeraldrose it wouldn't be RoP, for AVIS was just found.
Its was Post-AVIS I think its DoP, or SoP. I can't read right now. It was a suggestion made by Robinton while still living, but not started till after he past away.

Changes were made to other mastercrafthalls and the creation of new Mastercrafter in All the Weyrs of Pern. Like the Prntercrafthall. For AVIS had know that Tag (who became the MasterPrinter) was a good carver of wood.
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Old Aug 2 2009, 08:05 PM   #23
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Thanks I forget some of the order re: AIVAS because of the overlaps...I knew it wasn't ATWOP as that is before R's death and all about AIVAS and Thread ending...Have not checked things out yet but will look it DOP and SOP
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Old Aug 3 2009, 09:18 PM   #24
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Default Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

Quote:
If all Harpers (or even majority) required to sing/play instruments then how did Sebell manage (so easily) to alter the Harper Hall into a less musically inclined Hall especially after the death of Robinton?
Speculation ahead...

I don't recall a full-out shift as in the Harper Hall will no longer exist...more a couple of fractures/splits where interested parties started their own ventures, a la Tagetarl and the Printing Hall. (It was Tagetarl, right?) and the College at Cove. I would speculate that Robinton had been working at cross-Craft knowledge for so long, finally a generation came to adulthood that wasn't desperately dependent on being good at one thing and one thing only to make a living, and it perhaps contributed to a renaissance. (Because people were finally educated to have choices they could make, the choices were made).

However, it would be embarrassing to a Craft to have Crafters that couldn't even do the basics of their Craft (you'd dilute the entire Hall's reputation, which would be bad for those who had legitimate talent), so I can see music being force-fed down a few throats until, like I said earlier, a high-school equivalent proficiency. Arnor, and the instrument-maker-what's-his-name, etc. all would be able to do the basics...but due to their specializations they wouldn't often be called to do it, particularly when more skilled instrumentalists were around.
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Old Aug 6 2009, 04:10 PM   #25
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Post Re: Would all Harper Play and instrument...?

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Speculation ahead...

I don't recall a full-out shift as in the Harper Hall will no longer exist...more a couple of fractures/splits where interested parties started their own ventures, a la Tagetarl and the Printing Hall. (It was Tagetarl, right?) <snip> Yes, SoP and the College at Cove <snip> and more like at Landing DoP. I would speculate that Robinton had been working at cross-Craft knowledge for so long, finally a generation came to adulthood that wasn't desperately dependent on being good at one thing and one thing only to make a living, and it perhaps contributed to a renaissance. (Because people were finally educated to have choices they could make, the choices were made).

However, it would be embarrassing to a Craft to have Crafters that couldn't even do the basics of their Craft (you'd dilute the entire Hall's reputation, which would be bad for those who had legitimate talent), so I can see music being force-fed down a few throats until, like I said earlier, a high-school equivalent proficiency. Arnor, and the instrument-maker-what's-his-name, etc. all would be able to do the basics...but due to their specializations they wouldn't often be called to do it, particularly when more skilled instrumentalists were around.
Just had a twig of a idea RoP "Walk the Table" to get their knot, that have to have a basic understand of how to do it to get their knot in any Craft.

Sometimes, how a person gets his/her knots can change with time, and what is needed. Or sub-branches are added to the Main Craft Smith->Glass as an example.
Just like in DE/RSR. Now the Harper Hall can return to something like its was before and still have music as part of their work.

For their are still some Hidebound people on Pern.
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