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FAQ / Life on Pern / Craft Information / Harper Craft

Last updated 27th July 2005 by Bree

Specializations at the Harper Hall

Archivist: Although this specialist is most often found in the library, his talents are valuable elsewhere.. Those who study this area are also those most familiar with charter law, and are often called to cite precedents and help settle disputes.

Artist: Whether to draw up maps, decorate Hold walls, or preserve the memories of family and friends, the artist must draw on special talents. Besides obvious skills involving the capturing of likenesses on canvas, hide, or stone, artists must also be able to collect materials to make their own pigments. A certain amount of tact is also required as artists must often try to portray something more flattering than what is available as a model.

General: This area is a catch-all of the skills expected of those in the craft. Although the generalist must study all of the above areas, special attention is also given to miscellaneous ‘people skills." Arbitration, body language, listening skills: all are afforded time and study.

Instrument Crafting: Familiarity with a workshop full of tools, a knowledge of different woods and other natural materials, and a flair for varnishes all aid in this specialty. From the simplest stretched hide drum to the most intricately carved harp, the instrument crafter needs a patience that often daunts harpers from choosing this area.

Instrumental Music: While still requiring a knowledge of written musical notations, those who engage in this area rely on dexterity instead of lung power. Instrumentalists usually have a particular favorite instrument or type of instrument, but must be able to play all types.

Music Composition: Not every harper has the creative streak necessary to excel in this area. Those who compose must be able to read music, and to transcribe music heard either audibly, or within one's head.

Scribe: Those with clear hand-writing and large amounts of patience are best suited to this specialty. It requires long candlemarks of concentration and careful execution of copies, as well as a good working knowledge of the proper format for documents that may be requested by those in Hold, Hall, and Weyr.

Teacher: Although this area utilizes all of the above skills, patience and a knack for handling people are also required. From the youngest toddler to the oldest uncle, teachers are ready to help those they serve acquire knowledge.

Vocal Music: This area requires physical training to strengthen the lungs and assist in producing optimal tone. It also involves reading music and a degree of drama to add feeling to the songs. Still, not every human voice is suited to singing the variety of works required of a harper. Those who specialize in vocal music are the ones with special talents and an extended tonal range.

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