Harper Hall

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The Harper Hall at Fort Hold is a central location in Anne McCaffrey's Chronicles of Pern.

Role within Pern Chronicles[edit]

Anne McCaffrey combines the roles of teachers, historians, lawyers, diplomats and musicians into the guild of Harpers on the planet Pern. Under the leadership of the MasterHarper, such as MasterHarper Robinton of the Ninth Pass, the harpers utilise music as a teaching tool and are sent out to all Holds and Crafthalls to train youngsters in vocabulary, numeracy and rights and responsibilities of all. Being spread throughout the various settlements, harpers see and hear much, and report back to the Harper Hall.[1]

Founding of the Harper Hall[edit]

McCaffrey explores the theme of history and legend in her Pern prequels, which include discussions about the loss of technology and skills in the colony. The Harper Hall is located at Fort Hold, the first Hold established in the northern hemisphere after the Second Crossing. It was initially known as the College, and was the central training point for medical and teaching personnel. As the level of technology dropped, the community struggled to justify training personnel to use techniques that could no longer be utilised, including genetics and computer science.[2] The battle for survival under the onslaught of Thread demanded a reorganisation of priorities. The decision was then made to utilise music as an easy medium to teach and communicate within the low-tech society.[3] The theme of tradition, which runs throughout McCaffrey's writing, is based on Teaching Ballads and Sagas taught by the Harper Hall to all Pernese.[4]


  1. McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonsinger, Dragondrums 1979, Masterharper of Pern.
  2. McCaffrey, Todd. Dragonsblood.
  3. McCaffrey, Anne. Red Star Rising, published in the US as Dragoneye 1996.
  4. McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonflight.

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