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MacArthur Harps

17 Aug 99 - 12:26 PM (#105858)
Subject: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

Up at the Heritage River Festival I ran into my friend Peter Cox, who builds wonderfully playable and inexpensive folk instruments. I played his version of the MacArthur harp (I believe he's a friend of Margaret) and it's quite lovely. I didn't get the price exactly but I think it's in the 120 dollar (American) range, which is an absolute deal! They're plain with no carving and sound beautiful. Easy to learn as well.

Peter lives back in the hills near Barrie Ontario, and is one of the least commercial folk I know. You could call him (I know he sends instruments all over the place) at 705-726-3784. I told him about Mudcat, so mention my name, and if he gets computerized, he'd make a wonderful addition. He does great (very) old time banjos and dulcimers as well.

Rick (who has one of his plucked psalterys)


17 Aug 99 - 07:01 PM (#105982)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

I should have mentioned that if you're not familiar with the wonderful little instrument that Margaret MacArthur plays,...it's a very small sweet sounding harp with 12 strings and 3 chords. Lovely sound. Mudcatter Ferarra has one (not made my Peter Cox) and I got to hear a tune on it in Washington. Think there's a picture of her playing it on Bbc's page.


17 Aug 99 - 11:48 PM (#106048)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: katlaughing

Okay, Rick, you know me.....new to all this, in a roundabout fashion...would you please tell me who Margaret MacArthur is?

katlaughing&dodgingloud"youdon'tknowwhoMM is??!"


18 Aug 99 - 06:58 AM (#106111)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Lorraine

Oh you're in for a treat if you haven't heard Margaret yet. She is a Vermont state treasure- beautiful ballads old and new. Wonderful recordings-and yes, plays the MarArthur Harp magically as well as mountain dulcimar... Enjoy-Lorraine


18 Aug 99 - 07:34 AM (#106114)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Allan C.

Look here, Katl. Margaret MacArthur


18 Aug 99 - 09:28 AM (#106129)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: katlaughing

Thanks, Allan! I'd forgotten I'd gone to that page before, just didn't have a lot of time to peruse it. WOW! You are right Lorraine...looks like I am in for a treat.

Rick: any chance your friend will get computerized soon? Do you have a snail mail address for him? I'd like to write to him about a harp...that's something I've wanted for a long time and his prices sound incredibly reasonable.

Thanks, kat


18 Aug 99 - 12:51 PM (#106213)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: KathWestra

Lorraine's right. If you haven't heard Margaret you're in for a big treat. She has four fairly recent recordings, two with her family: "Them Stars" (wonderful title song) and "MacArthur Road." Also a compilation of Vermont History songs on cassette with a HUGE booklet of background information on the songs included. I believe her earlier recordings are also still available -- check her website. You'll get to hear the harp, and some wonderful songs, too.

Sen. Jeffords of Vermont recently selected Margaret to represent her state in the Milennium Stage concert series at the Kennedy Center in Washington. A politician with taste and discernment! She is truly a treasure.


18 Aug 99 - 12:52 PM (#106214)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

Yeah Kat. The phone number's up above. The mailing address is PETER COX
11 Finlay Mill rd. r.r. 3
Barrie, Ontario. Canada
L4M-4S5


18 Aug 99 - 10:27 PM (#106381)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: katlaughing

Thanks, Rick. I will write to him this week. Thanks, too, to you, KathWestra, for the info.

I am off to git eddicated....agin!**BG**

katlaughing


18 Aug 99 - 10:36 PM (#106384)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Susan A-R

Margaret is really the person who first hooked me on folk music. I'd heard it, but never thought much about singing it myself. She and her children came and gave a concert in my home town when I was about 17. I wound up getting a lap dulcimer and haven't looked back since.

Say Rick, this guy doesn't make things like mandolas or octave mandolins does he? If so, I may be in trouble. :>)

Susan


19 Aug 99 - 01:33 AM (#106420)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

Susan, now that you mention it. I don't want this to sound like a commercial for peter, but he makes EXCELLENT mandolas, mandolins and long-necked mando-thingies. All incredibly cheap, and they sound great. What he doesn't do is toot his own horn, so I guess I'm inadvertantly tooting it for him.

Rick


20 Aug 99 - 12:41 AM (#106725)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

Refreshing this thread because I've just invited Margaret to join us here and I want her to be able to find it easily. She'll be a great asset to this community if she succumbs to my urging becomes a Mudcatter. Some of you others who know her might want to work on her, too. We'll have to warn her about all this HTML stuff, though. The ballad listserv doesn't require it. It takes just plain old e-pistles.

Sandy


20 Aug 99 - 02:47 AM (#106748)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

Git back up thar, hoss, where ya b'long! Margaret's apt to come a-callin' in the mornin'!


20 Aug 99 - 01:43 PM (#106930)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

refresh


20 Aug 99 - 04:12 PM (#106967)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: katlaughing

Here ya go, Sandy, I'll give it a lift, too. Welcome, Margaret!


20 Aug 99 - 07:16 PM (#107023)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

Thanks, Kat. Maybe she's away on a date with your Eddie and Hiroshi. Anyone seen Elvis?


20 Aug 99 - 07:42 PM (#107026)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

Nice try Sandy, but we all know that Hiroshi and Elvis are ALIVE. Do ya think if I added Judge Crater anyone would know who he was?

Rick


20 Aug 99 - 07:57 PM (#107028)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

I think the Judge had a secret rendezvous with Amelia on a south sea island, Rick. He's being played by Jon Hall and she by Dottie Lamour. Can you sing "South of Pago Pago" for the sound track?


20 Aug 99 - 10:00 PM (#107054)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Bill D

tsk...to be in a crowd where Judge Crater is even remembered!...(I think the Judge and Ameila are with 'The Vanishing American' on a 'Lost Weekend", looking for the "Lost Chord".(

..Eddie may well be there, too...or maybe Eddie came in and clicked on "The End" and is trapped waaayyyy down there!


20 Aug 99 - 10:31 PM (#107061)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Nancy-Jean

Kathy, didn't the Kennedy Center event happen about a year ago? I was there. It was simple, Vermont and Margaret. A very tastefully presented program. I hoped for more, so if another date is scheduled, please tell us.

Nancy-Jean


21 Aug 99 - 02:47 PM (#107238)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Margmac

Well this is

This is Margaret MacArthur. Since the building of the first reproduction of my old harp thirty some years ago we have found that the original was constructed at the Harp-o-Chord company in Columbus Ohio in 1896, and that it is called a harp-zither, being strung so the high strings are away from the body of the player rather than adjacent, as in a proper harp. It is an antecedent of the auto harp, and closely related to guitar harps etc. I have written a how to play book, along with a tape of instruction and tunes. I am delighted to find another maker, as Howard Martindale, who made my reproduction, has retired, and Keth Young is back ordered, and Jeremy Seeger is still working out details. I have an old original, as does H. Martindale. There is one in a music store museum in Kansas City, and probably a few more scattered around.


21 Aug 99 - 02:57 PM (#107242)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

Welcome, Margaret, to Mudcat Madness!

Wasn't Martindale the original Sunhearth dulcimer maker? Beautiful instruments!

I hope you'll scroll around some of the musical threads on the forum, although some of the "Madcat" posts are a lot of fun, too. Don't let the marvelous Catspaw scare you away. He occasionally lets his true nature show through, and it's always worth the wait. Trust me.

Sandy


21 Aug 99 - 04:28 PM (#107258)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: katlaughing

Just so long as we finally find some fling-free litter!

katlaughing


21 Aug 99 - 06:16 PM (#107292)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

Welcome Margaret. We miss you in Toronto.

Rick


22 Aug 99 - 10:33 AM (#107416)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Big Mick

Well, I am just knocked out by who I get to play with here in the world's biggest Folk toybox. Margaret, I am so pleased that you have decided to join us. Like Sandy and Caroline, you are extremely well thought of in these parts and it is just an honor and a joy to welcome you to our village. I think you will find that we are an eclectic bunch who love to talk music and the events that spawned it. It gets a little excitin' from time to time when we take off on something controversial, but the hallmark here is to disagree without being disagreeable. And of course we have our downright silly threads. If you want to get a flavor for how much we care for one another, do a forum search on Catspaw or DougR. If you want to see our zany side, check out Mudcat Tavern, 1-7. And of course there is our music which is all over this site.

If you would allow me to, I will give you a quick how-to on two tools. One is the Digital Tradition Folk Database. It is that blue box in the top right corner of every thread. Using this you can search the database for any song you are looking for. Many have midi's attached. The second tool can be found at the top as well. It says "Quick Links". Drop down that menu and go to Search the Forum. If you are looking for a song that doesn't appear in the Digitrad, it may well be in the Forums, posted by someone for our enjoyment.

I am so happy you have joined us. Please contribute and help Sandy, Caroline, Art Thieme, Frank Hamilton, Rick and all of us "pass it on".

All the very best,

Mick


22 Aug 99 - 10:03 PM (#107585)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Margmac

Sandy, the late Walter Martin of Roaring Springs PA was the originator of Sunhearth Dulcimers. He presented me with a magnificent one several years ago. Howard Martindale made the reproduction of my old harp=zither, and Martin Mager made another of my dulcimers. Seems magic to me, all of these Martins

Mick, thanks for the info on tools. I am a neophyte for sure


22 Aug 99 - 10:13 PM (#107588)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Susan A-R

Hello Margaret, I'm delighted that you checked in on this one. Are you headed up to Montpelier for anything in the near future?

Somehow I am not surprised that your harp is modeled on an instrument mannufactured around the turn of the century. That seems to have been the hayday for a lot of interesting instruments. Oh, and have you gotten a chance to visit the Helen Hartness Flanders thread??

Susan


23 Aug 99 - 11:52 AM (#107695)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: KathWestra

Welcome, Margaret! I'm glad Sandy roped you in to these discussions. Hope to see a lot more of you around these Mudcat meanderings. Kathy


23 Aug 99 - 12:42 PM (#107711)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

Right. Martin. Must have been a senior moment. Come to this year's Getaway and enjoy some of McClatchey's great cooking (I can never remember how she spells her name!). You could surely hitch a ride down with one of our upper New England Mudcatters (Jeri? Animaterra?). I think Susan A-R is also looking for a ride. Karen K is going from the Hartford area. As I recall you once made the trip back from an Old Dominion festival with her. Remember the ferry ride to Cape May? What say you all? Should we start a "carpooling" thread?

Sandy


23 Aug 99 - 03:01 PM (#107755)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Ferrara

Margaret, a welcome from me as well! You've been one of my very favorite musicians since the first time I heard you. I swore then I'd get me a MacArthur Harp some day, so jumped at the chance when Dick Levine offered me one made by Howard Martindale. By the way, Keith Young now has an original, black with gold-tone, stringing instructions stamped on it. It's in "G". - Rita Ferrara (in the DC area.)

ps Rick, thanks for the info on your instrument maker friend. I've wished I could afford a second harp, maybe tuned in "D" ("the people's key") or "G" so I could play along in some of the jamming around here. - Rita


23 Aug 99 - 10:29 PM (#107873)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Susan A-R

Sandy and Margaret, there is a thread re. New Englanders going to FSGW. I have not yet even looke dup mastry of blue clidky things, so I can't send us there, but the upshot is that probabhly Wally MacNow is going from this way, and I have yet to contact him (I've already instigated a party at his house)

Susan


23 Aug 99 - 11:30 PM (#107899)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Bill D

well *grin*, I wondered if this group wouldn't bring Wally & Berta out of the woods!..It will be like old home week here!


23 Aug 99 - 11:32 PM (#107901)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Susan A-R

Wally shows up now and then on line (after all, he's camsco, I guess a sponsor of this joint) I also run into him now and then at music stuff here in central Vermont.


24 Aug 99 - 10:43 PM (#108260)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sharon

I've been looking for a MacArthur Harp to purchase. Who is a reputable maker/dealer?


24 Aug 99 - 10:50 PM (#108262)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Sandy Paton

Go back and read the first couple of posts to this thread. Rick mentions Peter Cox in Ontario. Somewhat later, Ferarra mentions Keith Young. Peter's would cost a lot less. I met him once at Rick's and enjoyed seeing some of the other instruments he had made. Nice, and not over-priced.

Sandy


24 Aug 99 - 10:50 PM (#108263)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Rick Fielding

Sharon. That's what this thread was all about. It just changed direction a few times. Go back to the top and phone Peter Cox.


24 Aug 99 - 11:12 PM (#108270)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: catspaw49

It's no wonder I couldn't get this thread to load awhile ago........both of you at the same time!!!!

It is a pleasure to have Margaret MacArthur here and I have enjoyed reading this one right along for obvious reasons.

I am thinking of changing my name to Martin so I can perhaps emulate some of their success instead of constantly screwing around with bracing patterns, soundboard thicknesses, and the like. I'd like to be satisfied sometime.

Welcome to Mudcat Margaret.......a finer group of folks cannot be found.........I hope you stay and join in the discussions, the music, and the nonsense. I know from experience that a closer and more loving, compassionate, caring, and humorous group cannot be found. We tend to think of this place as a village and your friend Sandy once said that it was the kind of place he always wanted to live. We are happy he does and proud to share it with him.......and you too.

Spaw


25 Aug 99 - 09:35 PM (#108564)
Subject: RE: MacArthur Harps
From: Margmac

Thanks, Catspaw, and all of the rest of you Mudcats for the welcoming words. Glad to be part of your village Margaret