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12 October 2020FoHM's Briggs Harp donated to Inverness Museum

FoHM donates our 'Briggs Harp' to a grateful Inverness Museum

Friends of Highland Music have this month (October 2020) donated our cherished 'Briggs Harp' to Inverness Museum who were delighted to receive the exhibit. Members will doubless be interested to be reminded of the Harp's background. The Harp was donated to FoHM some time ago by our previous Treasurer Alan Findlay who inherited it from his father, and it has an interesting history as detailed below.

Dalriada Clarsach   Henry Briggs, 1933   Sycamore & Spruce   31 strings

The Clarsach Society was founded in 1931 in Dingwall to promote and encourage playing of the clarsach.  The founders and early members were in a difficult position as there were no harp makers in Scotland.  They asked a Glasgow based violin-maker, Henry Briggs, to make harps for them.  This must have been one of his earliest harps, being produced only a year later.  Briggs came from a family of instrument makers, his father had been making violins since 1876.  Briggs was not initially keen to expand his trade beyond the violins he was trained to make, but by his retirement in 1958 he is believed to have made around 150 harps.  The Dalriada was the most expensive harp Briggs offered, listed at £35 in his 1938 brochure (more than twice the price of some of his other harps!).  The shape of some of the carvings are reminiscent of the Queen Mary harp (Edinburgh Museum, c.14th-c.15th centuries), which was probably used as inspiration although this is not an exact copy.  This harp has gut strings and blades to produce semitones.

With grateful thanks to Harp authority Bill Taylor and to Cheyenne Brown, Convener of the Highland Branch of the Clarsach Society, for background detail and historical information.

Do go along and view the Harp in Inverness Museum!

30 September 2020Frends of Highland Music AGM - Wednesday 30th September 2020 14:00

Friends of Highland Music AGM 2020 was held virtually by 'Zoom' Meeting today as planned. Minutes are availabe in the Ongoing Work Page of this website.

The AGM ws attended 'virtually' by 10 Members and business was dealt with efficiently in the circumstances. Details of the varied activities engaged in and supported by FoHM over the past year are given in the Committee Report for 2019 which is also avaialble on the Ongoing Work page.

The FoHM Committee are very grateful for the ongoing support of members in the current difficult circumstances, and would also like to thank Oona Sim who retired from the Committee at the AGM for all her hard work on our behalf in recent years. 

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