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Harpers are an important Craft on Pern. They have several functions. As the name implies, they are musicians, providing entertainment to the people of Pern. In addition, they are also educators, music playing an important role in basic education. In addition, they are the historians of Pern, maintaining Records of Pern's history. Finally, they function as arbitrers for disputes.

The Harpercraft has long had a close relationship with the Weyrs since at least the Second Long Interval, when they remained the strongest believers in Thread's return. Their prestige diminished during the last Turns of the Interval due to the association of Harpers with the traditional duties to the Weyrs.