A chord gently rolls through the guitar, sustaining in its echo. Softly, the sweet tone of a flute plays a melody which sounds almost familiar. The guitar echoes it, the sound of the plucked strings buoying the flute, carrying it along as it sweeps into a wave of music. From the height, the flute leaps into the next octave, soaring on the wind in a repetition of its haunting melody as the gentle strumming of the guitar fades back, its arpeggiation hardly noticeable save for the lack of silence.
The violin joins in counterpoint with the flute, the guitar gradually growing to take up the melody with the violin. The flute then finds a new song in the air, playing it against the first phrase of spring. Together, Parker, Oriana and Lili play of the wind over the open plains, the grass waving below, the blue of a lake under clear skies. The trio blends in harmony, painting Pern in all of its splendor.
The sound suddenly dies away as the guitar plucks out a timorous note, joined by a tremolo high on the violin. Thread! The flute soars and dives, and you can almost see the flaming dragons char the deadly silver strands midair, just as the bright instruments glisten in the light of the sun as they sound.
The violin takes the counterpoint, adding firestone to the flute's flame as the thread thins, unable to pass the Guardians of Pern. Parker and Oriana, triumphant, take up the wind and song, Lili strumming of the soil below as the music resolves into the distance.
Lyrics: J.R.R. Tolkien
It begins softly, the silent grandeur of an unknown, magical forest is the scene. With a simple melody, the introduction begins. Tinuviel enters, a portrait of the dancing elven lady. The key changes to minor, introducing Beren, wandering lost through the land. A vision of Tinuviel - flowers of gold shimmer in the harp as it echoes in variation of Tinuviel's melody. Beren watches Tinuviel as she dances through the forest, the mere sight of her lightening his soul and healing his body. The harp tells of the lady, the vocal melody of Beren, as she flees before him and leaves him desolate. A soft harp breeze tells lightly of his glimpses of Tinuviel as his jubilance comes through the melody, then drops away as winter comes on, Tinuviel gone.
The harp silent, the melody tells of Beren's vain search through the snowy wood, until a glimpse comes -- high, far away, enshrouded in mists atop a hill -- a light shimmer touches the harp, like the mists about her feet. In an interlude, the harp slowly turns winter to spring, the joyous return of Tinuviel. The voice then enters in a song of spring and the elven lady, the one Beren longs to have beside him. Trembling, she flees the mortal Beren, but he calls to her, 'Nightingale'. Startled, she halts, and he catches her. The spell of love envelops them, bringing with it all the good and all the trials which lay before them. The melody sings of the present, though the harp hints at the future with a minor key. Tinuviel succumbs to the love which she feels, even though they are from different worlds. Regardless of the consequences, they pledge their everlasting love. The harp lists the trials of the two lovers - the path to Evil's door, the price of the Silmaril, the Elven King's wrath. But beyond lies the happiness of those whom even death could never part.
The morning clear and bright, the day
The Lady Rebecca, fair as Pern
Lord Thern of Ruath, the mystery
Telgar Hold, in sickness once found
The Warder then, his traps did lay
The Lord and Lady, and Telgar's men
The battle was fierce, as men can
Kadan his sword, bravely swung
The Steward Parik, the Lord Thern
The traitors, they could not defend,
A slow introduction, the harp accompanying a mysterious, floating melody on the flute.
The flute rises octaves, floating softly down upon the inexpressable.
The tempo speeds up slightly, the harmonic rhythm now driving forward where it once was static. The flute follows the lead of the harp, rising in volume and intensity with each passing phrase.
The flute takes a last fling into the quicker melody, the rhythm of the harp supporting and driving behind until they slow, the mystery of the introduction returning.
The music falls silent, gently.
A chord at the beginning, arpeggiated. Then the melody, plain and simple, from the cello alone. The clarity is only accentuated with the occasional fullness of an arpeggiated chord, across all four strings.
It gradually becomes more complicated, the bow traveling quickly across the strings in patterns... hands shift from the top of the neck to low down on the fingerboard, the pitches surprisingly clean.
The complexity winds itself out, again with the clear melody singing out in the rich mid-register of the cello. Embellishment in the form of moving chords lends a solemn beauty to the piece as it comes to a close on the same notes as it began.
A gentle arpeggiated strumming begins out of silence, the melody plucked above bittersweet.
Lyrics: A. McCaffery [MIDI file of my RL arrangement]
Harp: %N lightly brushes %p fingertips along the strings, creating an eerie sensation of insubstantiality. The harmonics ring quietly, ever blending with each other and with the long, floating descant of the flute.
Flute: A haunting melody weaves a tapestry of moonlight through the beams of the harp strings, lingering in a mist of sound.
Soprano: "My nightly craft is
winged in white;"
Soprano: "A dragon of night-dark
Soprano: "Swiftborn, dreambound,
Soprano: "Her captain and crew are me."
Flute: %N's tone rises, growing, to an almost shrill, fluttering sound, then subsides again as the harp takes the foreground in a vast crescendo.
Harp: Sea waves sweep wide wings, %N's hands in constant motion across glimmering strings.
Soprano: "I sail a hundred
Soprano: "Where no seaman's ever been"
Harp: %N plucks long, ringing notes, taking the recapitulation of the flute's original descant while the flute, low in its range, trills intensely.
Soprano: "And only my
white-winged craft and I"
Soprano: "Know the marvels we have seen."
Harp: The notes become softer, %p hands moving more quickly as %N once again uses only %p fingertips against the strings.
Flute: %N begins low, still trilling softly, then gradually begins a long climb in pitch as %s fades the tone to a mere breath.
Soprano: %N remains still for a moment after the last sound has faded, letting the effect only gradually wear off before all the players relax.
Lyrics: A. McCaffery
Resounding chords strummed on the low harp strings accent the martial rhythm of this beginning, the traditional "Alarm Chorus".
The music slows. The mood become sombre, the remaining accompaniment ethereal, blending into the background.
Quickening again, it becomes imperative, alert!
The tone becomes more watchful, guarding. The frenetic urgency is replaced by confidence, ringing chords in the bass.
A mysterious, tricky interweaving of fingers on strings marks a change. The music slithers and blows in the air, uncatchable and yet disturbing.
Returning to the previous, urgent section, the tempo picks up and the chords become major yet again.
Cold, utter cold. The fragile high strings ring with a brittle tone, the lower notes almost indistinguishable. Nothingness.
Moderate in tempo, the flowing arpeggios lead into a familiar lesson song.
With a sudden, full-harp flourish ringing into the air, the words are pronounced!
The martial rhythm recurs, the strumming in the lower range of the harp imitating a drumbeat.
The music slows, a solid, steady rhythm emerging in suddenly plain chording. The melody is simple, the message clear above the softly flowing strings.
(Attributed to the Weavers' Songbook)
A gentle strumming breaks the air; delicate fingertips brushing breezes through the harp strings. The clear soprano tone is sweet, nostalgic.
The strumming changes, like the flowing of water into eddies as it approaches a mighty waterfall. The delicate notes become confident, the singer reckless and encouraging.
Slowing, the harp's intensity never diminishing, the music takes a turn into pure imagination, a realm of incredulity and passion.
Slowing more now, the delicate strumming returning as if it were a reminder of that already gone by and at the same time yet to come.
The pause is filled with silence for only a moment.
A recapitulation of the song is accomplished with only a few notes, the same eddying waters melting back into the spring rains of nostalgia before arpeggiating delicately on.
More spoken than sung, the harp accenting rather than accompanying the imagery.
Simple melody, the harp arpeggiating
and driving forward on the winds;
A slight pause; the melody returns,
the crescendoing harp strumming accent.
The lower strings rumble a thunderous bass as the music launches into the clouds - the sweeping strings blowing storms into the same simple melody...
The storms calm; the arpeggiation returns as the music floats far above, delicately plucked from the highest register of the harp--gradually, gradually growing and deepening until the climax:
It melds into accenting chords once again, the singer sing-speaking the words once more.
%P fingers poise above the strings, allowing the last chord to ring until the word is no more.
Lyrics: Harper Master Shinnai [MIDI file of my RL arrangement]
After dinner, as usual, the harper brings out a lute. As the requests for songs begin, he holds up his hand for silence. "This ballad has recently come from the Harper Hall--and before that, from Ista Hold with thanks to all who have sent much-needed aid after the storm. It is an account of the tragedy, firsthand, as written by one of the few surviving harpers who were at Ista Hold when the hurricane hit."
He tunes the lute quietly as the audience settles down. Then he begins, a light, ominous strumming vibrating the lower strings of his lute as a brief introduction to set the scene.
The strumming grows fluid, its rhythm complex as its accented discords imitate the storm-seas.
The music grows in intensity, the strumming soft but accented, like a hoarse whisper of alarm rising in pitch and urgency.
Silence -- then a small, slow melody of ironic sadness.
The crashing sea returns as the first theme, strong now to depict the battle between the solid Hold and the wild storm, images of plunging waves and roaring winds encouraging each other as they strive to beat the cliffside to sand.
A chord, stopped before it can ring, is all that is necessary to tell the fate of those who the storm found. A moment of silence, and the mood of the ballad changes. The storm is over now -- but it has not faded.
Respectful and soft in memory of those who will never listen again, of those who will never play again,
He crescendos, proclaiming the Istan harper's vow to Hold, kin, and to all who sent their aid:
Only the lute echoes the last phrase, and that briefly, but the words still ring in memory as the ballad comes to a close.
"A sincere thanks to all of you comes from the harper that wrote this song. She hopes that Ista may one day be able to fully repay your efforts," the harper concludes.
--Distributed by the Harpercraft, written by Shinnai, Hold Harper of Ista.
Converted to HTML from (#2399)Oriana's Songbook on the Harper's Tale MOO on Mon Oct 30 14:14:48 1995 EST.
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© Content Copyright the Members of the Harper's Tale Harpercraft, 1999-present
© Pern and the concept of the Harpercraft is the property of Ms. Anne McCaffrey, who kindly allows us to play in her world. Thank you!