About the Craft

 

A Harper's Life

 

Events in the Harperhall

 

Meet the Harpers

 

In the Vaults

Catlynn's Harperhall Interviews

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Table of Contents

  1. The Founding of the Harper Hall

  2. How Do People View the Harper Hall?

  3. Interview One

  4. Interview Two

  5. Interview Three

  6. Interview Four

  7. Interview Five

  8. Interview Six

  9. Interview Seven

  10. Interview Eight

  11. Interview Nine

  12. Interview Ten

  13. Interview Eleven

  14. Interview Twelve

  15. Interview Thirteen

  16. Conclusion

 


The Founding of the Harper Hall

 

Harper Craft is founded on a proud tradition of excellence stemming from necessity. In order to keep up a learning atmosphere and a place for teaching children during the day, a place was established for classes. Special rooms were set aside for teaching different subjects. The Harpers started as teachers to children in order to elevate children who had potential or aptitude to certain Harper traits. Later the harpers would entertain and tell tales from around Pern to keep people informed on what other events where happening. The major Harper Halls purpose was and is the dissemination of information.

 

The Harper is the person who keeps Holds, Halls and Weyrs in touch with each other to help preserve knowledge of the past. Harpers taught the children about past events and helped to keep the stories alive for future generations. With music, writing, and singing the past has come alive again. People skilled in Music would often come to the hall as students and begin as apprentices. Apprentices who where sponsored by their Masters were sent to the Craft for more intensive study and further evaluation. If the Hall accepts the apprentice he receives instruction in voice, instrument construction, composition, writing, and singing. They must also demonstrate proficiency in playing at least on instrument other then percussion. The apprentice can be mentored to a Master if the apprentice has a talent in that Masters particular field of knowledge. Not every apprentice becomes a journeyman. The ones that make journeyman get more duties and responsibilities.

 

A journeyman Harper, known as a route rider, teaches at lesser holds. He normally stays over night and leaves the next day for other cotholds. That way they can over a lot of territory in a small amount of time. The route rider's job is to sing a few songs, to pick up information and pass important information to the cotholder. A Holder or other resident may ask a well liked and tactful journeyman to dispense justice or perform the vows at a wedding. Harpers, due to the importance of their positions, have a near invulnerability that prevents anyone from hurting or mistreating them. If a Harper feels mistreated he can retaliate by writing a satirical song about the person and spread the song from hold to hold. If a Harper finds a Holder is stingy or dishonest the Hall can call the Harpers out of that hold. The Harper Hall then blackballs the hold, and no Harper will go there until the holder changes his mind or behaves. The other Crafts may then decide to withdraw their people and boycott the hold. 

 

On Pern, the apprentice system handles literacy and education. Since the colony days, the Craftmaster taught reading, writing and basic accounting. The Hold harper then takes over and teaches history and more specific subjects. The children learn the Traditional songs and how to sing. The songs teach about the history of Pern, advise, and warn. They were also fun to sing, which makes learning more fun. The Harper's job is to maintain the history of a place so people will know their background and be able to learn from their past mistakes. He learns from studying the Archives kept at the Hall by the Master Archivist, and passes his knowledge on to future generations. Under the Masterharper in the Harper Hall, are the administrators and music Masters, journeymen, apprentices, students, and provided by the Hall's headwoman, cooks,stewards, and drudges. Outside the Hall, the Masterharper has charge of the Masters and journeymen who work in other Holds and Weyrs. In cases of law, he oversees the judgements of the Masters and journeymen. Information gathered travels from Hold to Hall, or directly to the Harper hall if it is very important. Apprentice or journeyman harpers are messengers, translating the beaten measures and bringing the news from the Drum Heights directly to the person in charge. The Masterharper has his own apprentices and journeymen, who report directly to him. Normally these people have more then just the ability to play music. He looks for persons who can think on their feet and can make decisions on their own. 

 

The Harper Hall effects social change by helping people accept new ideas and information. Another part of the Harper's trade is making and repairing instruments. Apprentices start out by making only the simplest instruments: pipes, tabors and sticks, tambourines. The Craftsmaster then judges them to see if they are fashioned correctly, after which the apprentice can move on to more complex projects. Journeymen should know how to make any instrument from skins, frames, metals, and wood. Instrument players in the Harper Hall have a wide choice of instruments to choose from. The Harper Hall is an excellent place for artists and people who have the ability to accurately copy the archives to keep them updated.

 


How Do People View the Harper Hall?

 

When I started this project I was curious as to how people in general viewed the Harper Hall. I decided to pursue the idea and came up with just a few simple questions that help to give me and others an idea about what people really think about the Hall and how we as Harpers can improve ourselves and craft. The following interviews are the result of alot of time and effort, mostly just all the traveling time that was involved. But I think the interviews speak for themselves as to how the general public view our Hall. I started by asking different persons in different Crafts, Holds, Halls, and I tried Weyrs but they where not receptive to the idea.

 


The Interviews: Interview One

This first interview is with Thorn of the Dolphin Craft.

 

1.      How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Thorn responds: HarperHall helped me in the past as an educator. The teachings from the songs as a child. I guess I always liked the ones that mentioned shipfish.  

2.      What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Thorn responds: Not much really, other then opening up their archives to us for searching for further information on Dolphins. Unfortunately we haven't found much.

 

3.      What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Thorn responds: What it has always done.

 

4.      What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall and your perspective of the Hall?

Thorn responds: Well I wouldn't get rid of the Hall. Without it where would Pern be? With no history, music or records.

 

5.      Do you have anything you would like to add?

Thorn responds: Perhaps a few more songs about Dolphins would be nice.

 

From this interview I learned a great deal about what a few people in the Dolphin Craft would like to see happen between their craft and ours. I like the idea of more songs about Dolphins and I hope you will take it into consideration.


Interview Two

This interview is with Aligore from the Smithcraft

 

1.      How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Aligore responds: It gave me a wife.

 

2.      What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Aligore responds: It has given me support for new ideas like the windmills. It is the back bone of Ista.

 

3.      What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Aligore responds: Organize a bit and have clearly defined areas of interest. You seem scattered at the moment. No one knows what path the Harpers are on.

 

4.      Do you have anything you would like to add?

Aligore responds: No, I am not trying to be harsh. I am just telling you what I see with the Hall.


Interview Three

This interview is with Mairen from the HerderCraft

 

1.      How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Mairen responds: My personal past, I learned to read and write from a Harper and if that would not have happened I would not have had the courage to become a Herder. It is the best thing I have done in my life to become a Herder.

 

2.      What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Mairen responds: I have learned more about laws and about Craft hierarchy and etiquette from my Harper friends as well as my Craftmaster. There is always the music. As for the Craft, they have been helping me plan importation of some new stock, and how to handle the sales and the transfer.

 

3.      What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Mairen responds: I would really like to learn more about the laws. I feel like I only have a scant knowledge of these. I think that could help me and the Craft in that I will know better what types of things I can do for my Craft.

 

4.      What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Mairen responds: Overall I'm content with the HarperCraft. Individually I have some close friends who are Harpers, and I have never had any problems personal or otherwise with any of them. They are always willing to answer questions and help where needed.

 

5.      Do you have anything you would like to add?

Mairen responds: At some point I think more intercraft contact and training without the need to crosscraft would be beneficial to both our Crafts.

 

With this interview Mairen brought up an interesting idea about cross craft training. Another idea that is worth consideration.


Interview Four

This interview is with Rorie of the Farm Craft.

 

1.      How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Rorie responds: I was taught by Harpers with the teaching songs when I was a child. Harpers have settled problems between my father and other farmers near his place in Telgar. I had a Harper marry myself and Samyan. I also have a lot of Harper friends.

 

2.      What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Rorie responds: They have entertained me, and helped me deal with problem apprentices.

 

3.      What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Rorie responds: Having more accessible Harpers. Maybe one stationed at Grinstead for example. Sometime the Harpers seem a little stuck up and goody, goody. That should be tamed down a little.

 

4.      What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Rorie responds: Overall, I think the Craft is good. The Harpers are doing what they should be, and they are very helpful. The ones I have met are kind and fair. The do a good job, educating, keeping the peace, and entertaining people.


Interview Five

This interview is with Dominic of the FarmCraft

 

1.      How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Dominic responds: It has influenced my life immensely, as I lived on an isolated cothold on High Reaches the Harpers were the only source for information and training we had.

 

2.      What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Dominic responds: It has kept me informed of the happenings both in the Hold, Weyr and Hall. It helped to educate my children and helped settle disputes between Hold and Hall.

 

3.      What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Dominic responds: The wandering Harper system could be expanded, there are so many isolated Holds and cotholds that a traveling Harper is essential to keep everyone informed and to provide stability to us all.

 

4.      What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Dominic responds: Well overall I feel the HarperCraft is a great boon to all of Pern and is a stabilizing influence on Holder, Crafter, and ordinary folk. Without it we'd be nothing but a bunch of little isolated pockets of humanity without cohesion.

 

This interview was interesting as he mentions the route rider type of harper, and since we are going to implement the route rider soon it is great that others look forward to them also.


Interview Six

This interview is with one of our own, Jueann of the HarperCraft

 

1.      How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Jueann responds: It has given me a home.

 

2.      What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Jueann responds: It has encouraged me.

 

3.      What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Jueann responds: Turn out more J-man. We need the desperately.

 

4.      What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Jueann responds: Overall it is a home for me. The Harpers are like a family even when the apprentices get on my nerves about lessons and such.


Interview Seven

This interview is with Kidwyn of the HarperCraft

 

1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Kidwyn responds: My papa is a Harper, so I have grown up and around Harper teaching and life. 

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Kidwyn responds: It has given me a home, and something to do with myself.


3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Kidwyn responds: It seems like life here is centered around the Weyr. Maybe Harper Hall should have a bit more prominence in peoples lives.

 

4. What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Kidwyn responds: I love it.


Interview Eight

This interview is with Fletcher from the HarperCraft

1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Fletcher responds: I'd have to say the Craft has been a major influence in my life. It has changed my life. I owe a lot of my changes to the MasterHarper, who was my mentor back at Fort.

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Fletcher responds: It has brought me good friends. Seamus and Jueann are just wonderful, and I wouldn't have met them had I not been in the Harpers. Yes, the Craft has brought me close to a lot of friends and interesting people.

 

3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Fletcher responds: I think the Craft is doing quite well. And nothing terribly traumatic has happened to Pern, so we must be doing our job.

 

4. What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Fletcher responds: I think the Craft is doing beautifully, really. No complaints.


Interview Nine

This interview is with Salania from the HarperCraft.

 

1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Salania responds: I learned to read. I have learned to play an instrument. It has expanded my mind a lot.

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Salania responds: The past is the present. I joined less then a turn ago.

3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Salania responds: The journeymen need to be more available for us.

4. What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Salania responds: I think it is the best Craft on Pern.


Interview Ten

This interview is with Danel from the HarperCraft


1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Danel's responds: The local Harper Janelis, at Misty Hold was kind and help prevent my father from beating me when he was drunk. The Harper would give me extra lessons and he mentioned I should go to the HarperHall and apply. I had more of a talent for music then for farming.

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Danel's responds: The Hall has given me a home, and a sense of purpose. And most importantly, the freedom to play music without getting beaten for it.

 

3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Danel's responds: I don't feel I am qualified to offer my thoughts on that question, if I had any.

 

5. Do you have anything to add?

Danel's responds: It is the best Hall on Pern.

 

Danel had written a song about his past which I felt needed to be entered into this interview, it really helps you to understand his response to my first question.

 

A heavy hand, a heavy heart
bruises from one who should love
protect my kin, take the blame
another wound from my father

A mountains solace, for teary eyes
I walked this way alone
Till a man, pipes in hand
a song, then two did show

songs of joy, songs of love
music for a damaged soul
day and night, noone in sight
I played for a moutains gold

then a day, pipes taken away
after so long a friend
not a tear, last mountain near
away from there I did go

ran to music, ran to home
never a backwards regret
and sister trialing, three days behind
the home of music our home!
by Danel.

With Danel's feelings fresh in our minds after reading his interview, you start to understand how important the HarperCraft is to so many people. We need to keep this craft growing and help with the teaching of the children of Pern.


Interview Eleven

This interview is with Talin Holder of Paradise Island

 

1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Talin responds: I didn't have much contact with the Harpers other then that I depend on them to teach and perform many ceremonies. In these aspects I've always thought the Harpers have performed well.

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Talin responds: Currently they have allowed me to steal Armahd to perform duties here such as ceremonies. As well their performances are always a welcome event. I have been lucky to have my friends Fletcher to stop our here and encourage other Harpers to come here to play and practice.

 

3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Talin responds: I guess mostly to continue their tradition of excellence in their duties. For me personally, I would like to see them use Paradise more as perhaps preparation for concerts, practices, studies, or performing. We have room, and I think it would give a nice change to scenery.

 

4. What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Talin responds: I have been nothing but pleased with their services. I can't recall when I ever felt bad about a Harper headed event.

 

5. Do you have anything you would like to add?

Talin responds: I just hope the quality I've experienced continues.


Interview Twelve

This interview is with Shaival from the SeaCraft

 

1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Shaival responds: Other then teaching, I can honestly say not at all. I tend to stay aboard my ship.

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Shaival responds: They may be officiating a handfasting for me in the near future.

 

3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Shaival responds: They seem to be doing well as far as I'm concerned.

4. What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Shaival responds: Favorably. I've heard no complaints about the Harpers.


Interview Thirteen

This interview is with Thenar of the Guards

 

1. How has the HarperHall effected your life in the past?

Thenar responds: The Harpers found me after my family was killed. They brought me to a neighboring cothold where the people agreed to look after me. They were very kind to me as a child of 8 turns and I've respected the Craft ever since.

 

2. What sort of things has the Hall done for you in the present?

Thenar responds: The Harpers are presently helping me perform my job as a guard at Paradise Hold. They have shown interest in a project I am working on and have agreed to offer what help they can. At least the ones I have talked with have.

 

3. What do you feel the HarperCraft could do better for the future?

Thenar responds: In the future I would like to see a closer relationship between the Guards of both Ista and Paradise Holds. I believe that with Harper assistance this is not only possible but highly beneficial to all involved. The Harpers are able to travel much more freely then most folk as they bring news and education to Pern. This would be an asset to any guard force that has to make do without a dragon and rider for communication with far lands.

 

4. What is your opinion of the HarperCraft overall?

Thenar responds: On the whole I believe that the Harpers are doing a good job. I would like to see them get a little more organized and would love to have a few Harpers stationed here on Paradise to perform for and instruct the people here.


Conclusion

 

With the interviews I have learned a lot about what different people feel and think about the HarperHall. We seem to have areas we could improve on, but mostly we seem to be in very high standing with the community at large. I hope this project has helped those who read it and they find that the ideas that others have presented can be further looked at and or implemented. We could expand on these interviews by talking to more people and that way further help the people of Pern. The HarperHall is a growing and great influence on Pern and its people, to better understand the people we need to interact more with the general populace.


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