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 heritage.

The Herrou-Mayor Ensemble

E brezhoneg



French homepage

Our Charter

The medieval harp

Harp making


Classes and workshops


Summer class Telenn ar Gelted

Catalogue : books and records










Contact webmaster :

Origin and purpose

Based in Plouneour-Menez (Finistère), in the Monts d’Arrée, our organisation was initiated in 1995 by artists Violaine Mayor and Joël 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, Joël 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


Violaine Mayor and Joël Herrou

Joël Herrou et Violaine Mayor


New album:


CD les frères Herrou


Violaine Mayor

Harper Violaine Mayor

(Photo A. Pennec) 



  Queen Mary harp Joël Herrou

    Joël Herrou "Queen Mary" harp











Our activities

1) Research

-Harp making : replicas of historical harps

-Historical repertoire and playing techniques, 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 lessons

3) Developement

-Publications : books, recordings

-Concerts, ceilidhs, conferences, school concerts

-A high point in the summer : the summer class Telenn ar Gelted ("Harp of the Celts")


child playing harp

 Child at the harp


HENT TELENN BREIZH administrators:

Joël Herrou : President and founding member. 

Laurent Aprile : Vice-president. 

Christine Leal : Tresurer.

Gwenaëlle Combot : Secretary.

Violaine Mayor : tutor.

Membership :

basic membership 15€,

student member 10€, 

supporting member from 30€.