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Masterharper of Pern CD

last update 8/13/2004

In conjunction with the book of the same title, a collection of songs was written and recorded by Mike Freeman and Tania Opland, with the aide and approval of Anne McCaffrey.  The cd can be ordered from them by printing out an order form from their website and mailing it to them.  They accept currency from a number of countries; details are on their site.  If you live in the UK, Waterstones Bookstore is reported to carry the cd, and the Forbidden Planet can order it.  There was a limited first edition of the cd, signed by Anne & the artists, but it has reportedly sold out.  

The music is beautiful and fitting to Pern, and I recommend to all Pern fans without hesitation!  If you'd like to listen to a bit of the music before committing to purchase it, François was authorized by Mike and Tania to put sound clips on his website.  A little further down on this page I've posted my review of the various tracks.

Rumor had it that a second Pern cd may be in the works, however Anne herself said there were no plans during DragonCon 1999.  


1.   Robinton's First Whistle Tune
2.   Duty Song
3.   The Masterharper's Ball
4.   Golden Egg of Faranth I
5.   The Plains of Telgar
6.   Fighting Thread
7.   Dragon Lady
8.   The Question Song / Star Stone
9.   Robinton's Dream
10. Golden Egg of Faranth II
11. Nonsuch
12. Red Star Passes
13. Fire Lizard
14. Golden Egg of Faranth III
15. Merelan
16. Lessa's Ride
17. Robinton's Whistle Tune II
18. March of the Wings

Sariel's Review

Track information: Sariel's impressions:
1.   Robinton's First Whistle Tune
Written by a very young Robinton, giving the Master Harpers a hint as to his talent (except for the oblivious Petiron).
A simple & sweet, yet haunting melody, and variations around it.  I can picture young Robie experimenting with the theme on his pipes.
2.   Duty Song
The classic old Teaching Ballad
Wonderful voices bring this song to life, alternating solos and harmonies, men and women.  Makes you want to jump up and pledge support for the Weyrs (and send those tithes!).
3.   The Masterharper's Ball
A Gather piece written by Robinton for all the Masters who encouraged him.
Upbeat and festive.  I can picture folk dancers moving in time to the beat.
4.   Golden Egg of Faranth I, II, & III
Another classic ballad, split into it's three verses and spread throughout the cd.
Somber & respectful
5.   The Plains of Telgar
Inspired by a visit to Telgar Hold
Lovely weaving of themes from pipes to harp to guitar.  I can picture Domick's quartet playing it together.
6.   Fighting Thread
Robinton modified a verse of the Duty Song to make this round for children and untrained musicians to sing for pleasure.
Beautiful.  For some reason I picture a troupe of wandering singers performing this like a group of Christmas Carolers.
7.   Dragon Lady
A lively Gather dancing song
A very lively tune--great tribute to Anne.   Maybe this tune would be used for one of those toss dances that left all but Moreta and Alessan on the floor.
8.   The Question Song / Star Stone
The song that spurred Lessa's fantastic jump between times, followed by an instrumental piece of Robinton's.
Not as haunting or discordant a tune as I expected, but grows on you quickly.
9.   Robinton's Dream
Inspired by his night alone in Fort Weyr
Definitely expresses the mystery and emptiness of the long abandoned Weyr.
11. Nonsuch
A classic melody, but its medieval England origins have been long forgotten
A beautiful and complex blending of guitar, dulcimer, and various percussion; another song for folk dancing.
12. Red Star Passes
The classic Teaching Ballad from 2nd Pass Pern when the Harper Hall was founded
With an eerie tune, this tune can inspire a deep sense foreboding, as the Pernese must feel when the Red Star begins to appear.
13. Fire Lizard
Not Menolly's song, but an older tine of Robinton's written when he heard the legends
Simple, hesitant, & almost sad tune, that builds slowly to cheerfulness.  It captures a transition from disbelief to searching to viewing fire-lizards.
15. Merelan
The most beautiful piece ever written by Petiron, expressing his sadness from being separated from Merelan while she and Robie were at Benden Hold.
Very melancholic; you can picture a wistful and lonely Petiron waiting for his beloved wife to return home to him.
16. Lessa's Ride
The tribute to Lessa's great jump, arranged quite similar to the Question Song, to which it is the answer.
I had figured out that some of the verses in Dragonflight were about Lessa's Ride only a few weeks before hearing this!  Retells the story, and nicely expresses the uncertainty and courage of Lessa's jump through the repeated chorus
17. Robinton's Whistle Tune II
Polished for Gather use, with additional instrument parts.
Definitely a matured version; makes me picture snake charmers in action.
18. March of the Wings
The classic battle theme of the dragonriders
Very stirring & patriotic,  but not long enough!  I picture it with more verses and a chorus, and had arranged my own version with verses from Dragonflight.  Unfortunately I was informed that publishing my arrangement on the web was a copyright violation (though fine for my private enjoyment).  You can still create your own longer version, by looking through DF for verses with the same cadence.

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