the early harp of Brittany


Hent Telenn Breizh

The Way of the Breton Harp


Association for the rediscovery of the early harp of the Bretons and Gaels,

strung with bronze wire, and its reintegration in our musical heritage.

E brezhoneg

French homepage


The Herrou-Mayor Ensemble

Our Charter

The medieval harp

Harp making


Classes and workshops


Catalogue : books and records










Contact webmaster :

Origin and purpose

Based in Plouneour-Menez (FinistŤre), in the Monts díArrťe, our organisation was initiated in 1995 by artists Violaine Mayor and JoŽl Herrou, in order to rediscover the ancient wire strung harp of the Celts, played in the Middle Ages by the Brittons and the Gaels.

Since then, JoŽl has made replicas of historical medieval harps respecting the ancient building techniques. Violaine has rediscovered their specific playing techniques using the fingernails, aswell as very ancient and wide amazing repertoires, a large part of which remain to be decifered.

We are attached to giving life again to this beautiful heritage recovered at last, and to restoring it to the public through an active work of passing on and cultural immersion


New recording:

video CD Violaine Mayor D'eau et d elumiŤre

Pibroch, Scottish and Irish music, sung and played on the traditional Gaelic harp with bronze strings.

Released July 2017


Violaine Mayor

Harper Violaine Mayor

(Photo A. Pennec) 



  Queen Mary harp JoŽl Herrou

    JoŽl Herrou "Queen Mary" harp


Violaine Mayor and JoŽl Herrou

JoŽl Herrou and Violaine Mayor









Our activities

1) Research

-Harp making : replicas of historical harps. See now in English.

-Historical playing techniques and repertoire, according to ancient harp manuscripts (Bunting MS, Ap Huw MS...) and Celtic chant manuscripts (Inchcolm Antiphon...)

2) Passing on

-Early Gaelic harp classes and lessons

-Traditional singing and Celtic chant classes and workshops

-A summer harp class in July: see the summer class programm.

3) Developement

-Concerts, fest-noz, ceilidhs, conferences, school concerts

-Publications : recordings, books


child playing harp


HENT TELENN BREIZH administrators:

JoŽl Herrou : President. 

Laurent Aprile : Vice-president. 

Christine Leal : Tresurer.

GwenaŽlle Combot : Secretary.

Mari-Claude Mevel: Second Secretary.


Violaine Mayor

Jean Herrou

MikaŽl Herrou

Membership :

basic membership 15Ä,

student member 10Ä, 

supporting member from 30Ä.