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She’s leaving home

The first harpist who made a big impression on me, years before my first harp lesson? And maybe the first modern inspiration for the double-strung harp? This woman.

Harpist Sheila Bromberg, who played on “She’s Leaving Home” on The Beatles’ 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, has died at 92. Among her many achievements, she was the first female musician to appear on a Beatles record.

Recording engineers created the “doubling” effect for the iconic track’s introduction from Bromberg’s first take on the March 17, 1967 session. This video tells the great story of the Abbey Road recording session, and also features a talk show with Bromberg and Sir Ringo Starr—as they met for the first time.

Thanks, Sheila. Safe journeys.

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Success and sources

Thanks to everyone at the Gebhard Woods Dulcimer & Traditional Music Festival for a great weekend! I enjoyed teaching two Zoom harp workshops (well done, harpers!) and the live chat during my prerecorded concert set.

As promised to my Fit for a Queen workshop, here are some of my favorite sources for English country dance tunes. Which sources – and which tunes – are *your* favorites? Let me know in the comments!

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It’s festival time!

Finally! Excited to return as the harp headliner at the 2021 Gebhard Woods Dulcimer & Traditional Music – yes, they have harp! This year’s virtual festival is free, with no registration needed.

My concert and both workshops are all on Sunday, June 13, 2021. The harp workshops are for *all* lever harps (key of G tuning); be sure to download handout PDFs before the workshops . I’ll feature the double-strung harp in my concert set.

My Sunday, June 13 GWDF concert and harp workshops (all times US Central):

  • 1:00 PM: Workshop: Flora & Fauna: Outdoor Tunes for Indoor Harpers.
  • 2:30 PM: Main Stage double-strung harp concert set (prerecorded).
  • 4:00 PM: Workshop: Fit for a Queen: English Country Dances for Lever Harp.

GWDF Festival Home Page: http://www.gebharddulcimer.org/2021
GWDF Facebook and Insta: @gebhardwoodsdulcimerfest

The Festival Home Page is the hub for all GWDF activities, including my concert set and workshop links. You’ll need Zoom technology to participate in the Main Stage, Workshops, and Community Tent.

Zoom Workshops: access via the GWDF Festival Home Page. The Zoom link for each workshop will appear ca. 10 minutes before the hour, and you can join the workshop until 10 minutes after the hour. You’ll also need a camera and microphone on your device for workshops.Download harp workshop PDF handouts, and the workshop schedule, on the GWDF workshops page: http://www.gebharddulcimer.org/workshops-2021

GWDF performance schedule page: http://www.gebharddulcimer.org/concert-schedule-2021

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Welcome to Double Talk!

Welcome to Double Talk, my new blog on double-strung harp! I can’t wait to share more about double harp – its repertoire, techniques, history, and more, with video, audio, and articles.

Today is a great day to launch the blog, because March 1 is St. David’s Day, the national day of Wales – and the Welsh triple harp is the direct ancestor of the modern double-strung harp. This Google Doodle from 2017 shows a Welsh triple harpist in traditional dress, in a field of daffodils:

And to celebrate today’s launch, here’s a video of my arrangement & performance of a traditional Welsh air, The Queen’s Dream (Breuddwyd Y Frenhines):

Cindy (Cynthia) Shelhart plays The Queen’s Dream on a Dusty Strings FH26 double-strung harp.

If you’d like to play this arrangement yourself, the sheet music PDF is available at https://cynthiashelhart.com/product/the-queens-dream-pdf/ .

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! (Happy St. David’s Day!)