Tagelharpa Thursday

As Holy Week begins, there isn’t much going on, gender-wise.  It’s all dude-bro stuff.   Jesus washes the feet of the disciples, which yields the traditional hymn/ chant Mandatum, “Commandment”, as in “a new commandment I give you, that you love one another.” If you’re in the mood for that, you could do a lot worse than the Peter Latona version. Then there’s the Last Supper, with its betrayal theme and Judas sneaking out early with the 30 pieces of silver. Doesn’t really resonate, does it, unless you work for the part of the Foundation that deals with harassment.

So here is something completely different: a woman playing a tagelharpa.

The tagelharpa, or jouhikko, is a sort of 3-string bowed lyre.  If you want one, you pretty much have to make it yourself, but fortunately there are plenty of DIY plans on etsy and youtube. The keys I believe are tuned DGG, and horsehair is often recommended over nylon fishing line, but you can google that too if you really want.  There is also some really horrible video of people playing the thing, but if you can start with a video of A Tergo Lupi — as in “A fronte praecipitium, a tergo lupi.” or “A precipice in front, wolves behind” — the thing should just keep autoplaying that group, and you should be okay. The group is a total red link, btw, with no internet presence whatsoever.

Some more data points about A Tergo Lupi:


A Tergo Lupi was born in 2018 with the meeting of the three members, each with a different musical background but with the same vision for the future.

A Tergo Lupi is about ancient dark sounds, tagelharpa, bouzouki and ritual drums, and is about guitars, electronics, industrial distortions.

Working on the first album.

They seem to belong to some sort of Nordic or perhaps Italian metal genre, but are easier to listen to than Wardruna or Forndom with their frankly weird rain and drums stuff, or the simply unmusical Cookie-Monster-meets-rap Amon Amarth.

Camilla M. Ferrari. is on “Break the breath”. She is apparently an Italian archeologist and luthier. Here she is soldering the preamp to a hammered dulcimer. This is better, “Tagelharpa & Ritual Drum”:

Luca Villa is there, and is apparently a rather hairy Italian surveyor. The third one seems to be Fabio Del Carro, also hairy and also Italian, who studied physics. What they are doing with an old Norse instrument is beyond me. 

Looking further, this seems to be mostly a demo for her instrument business, “Ebanisteria Musicale“.

There’s a flute-like instrument on the first video, but it’s hard to get a look at it.

UPDATE: They have just posted a new video they did the background music for: “A Murra”, a video by a performing artists’ collective, about an ancient Roman hand game similar to “rock paper scissors”, also called micare digitis.

Unisce l’Italia, la Morra, fin dai tempi dei Romani, con regole differenti da regione a regione. Eppure è proibita da una legge del 1930 che la vieta nei luoghi pubblici. Dicono che l’effetto collaterale del gioco della murra sia la lite su quanto viene messo in palio: polli, birre, salami, soldi. Eppure i vecchi che ancora praticano questa misteriosa digitazione, e i giovani che la resuscitano, assicurano che al massimo chi vince paga da bere a tutti, perchè questo è un gioco di amicizia e di convivialità.
Se l’Italia, tra i membri dell’Unione europea, è il Paese che, a livello fiscale, incassa di più dal gioco d’azzardo (grazie a Superenalotto, sale bingo e scommesse), la morra continua ad essere compresa nella tabella dei giochi proibiti. La Murra non è tracciabile, quindi non è tassabile.

[translation] It unites Italy, La Morra, since the days of the Romans, with different rules from region to region. Yet it has been prohibited since 1930, by a law that makes it illegal in public places. It is claimed that the collateral effect of the game of la Murra is quarreling over what is being betted on: chickens, beers, salami, money. Yet the old people who practice this mysterious digitation, and the young people who are resurrecting it, maintain that at most the winner buys a round of drinks for everyone, so it is a game of friendship and conviviality.

Italy, out of all the members of the European Union, is the country that, at the fiscal level, receives the most income from gambling (thanks to Superenalotto, bingo halls and betting); la Morra continues to be included in the list of forbidden games. La Murra is untraceable, and therefore untaxable.

ANOTHER UPDATE, because new album:

See the whole thing, “Out of the Fence”,  on YouTube.

And since Genderdesk is all about recognizing women, especially women who might have a hard time getting recognized on Wikipedia, here is a new profile: Camilla Ferrari and the A Tergo Lupi band.

8 thoughts on “Tagelharpa Thursday

  1. Hi Genderdesk, we’ve just read this article of yours, we’re happy we found it and could read even only assumptions about us 🤣.
    For many things you have guessed well and Rot is actually born for demonstration purposes but ” A Tergo Lupi” has immediatly evolved into a real independent musical project with the aim of integrating instruments of ancient origin, which for us still have a huge potential, in a current context together with contemporary instruments (last week our first album was released 🎉)

    Many thanks again.

    Fabio, Camilla, Luca

  2. We are really grateful for your contribution, we appreciate it so much!
    We have nothing else to suggest you in addition, we would just give you our compliments for your blog.

    Thanks again and good luck to you too! 🍕

  3. I have made a new post for your album, and a new group profile, since I don’t think the google bots will index old posts: Camilla Ferrari and the A Tergo Lupi band. Let me know if there are any errors, or you can also email me.

    I have also discovered that your Camilla Ferrari is something of an academic expert in…..graveyards and mutilation of corpses….

    “Le mutilazioni e lassenza di parti anatomiche dalla sepoltura alcune interpretazioni” (Mutilation and the absence of anatomical parts from burials: some interpretations)

    Oh my.

    So now I am thinking of Morticia, of the Addams family

    1. Hello Genderdesk, sorry for the delay in the reply.
      Don’t worry about what you wrote, it made us laugh a lot 🤣

      We saw the new post and we want to thank you very much, we were speechless, we didn’t expect it … we can’t thank you enough for all the time you’ve spent for us.

      We wish you good luck and great success for your blog!

      Fabio, Camilla, Luca

  4. Oh I am so glad that you all enjoyed my little jokes. But now there is more information about your band on the internet, so I wanted to write something more serious, to make the information easier to find.

    You can thank Ms. Ferrari for that. Women are under-represented both on Wikipedia and in the world, so I like to find information about women and write about them. The Women in Red project does this on Wikipedia – here is the project in Italian: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progetto:WikiDonne and I have tried to do the same thing here, in a smaller way.

    I have also found new information about which band members play which instruments, and added it to the piece. But now I am curious about the flutes and I would like to know more about the flutes and the “harmonic flutes” that Luca Villa plays. Are these like Irish flutes, modern Boehm flutes, or something else? There is never a good picture of the flutes. I would appreciate any information about the flutes, if this is not a trade secret.

    1. Thanks for the infos on WikiDonne and congratulations on your contribution to this cause that in 2020 should not even exist.

      About the “harmonics flutes” you can find some informations searching for “overtone flutes”, here the wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtone_flute
      They are basically flutes without finger holes, you can get the different tones varying the blowing pressure while opening and closing the bottom end.

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