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Home is where the harp is for ‘mirror-image’ twins
Buy this photo » Harp playing twins Margaret Scruby, far left, and Rosemary Munro, left
YOU could be forgiven for thinking you are witnessing an optical illusion with these pictures of twins Rosemary Munro and Margaret Scruby.
And although they’re identical, the 62-year-old harp-playing sisters are mirror-image twins, meaning they have many opposite traits.
Mrs Munro, from Appleton, is left-handed whereas Mrs Scruby, from Botley, is right-handed.
Each has one lazy eye, but opposite to each other and they both suffer from arthritis but in an opposite foot.
As mirror image twins they are termed monozygotic twins – created when one fertilised egg splits at least a week after conception leaving the babies to develop some reverse asymetric features.
However, one thing they have shared for around 45 years is their love of the Paraguayan harp.
They were just 18 when they first travelled to Paraquay in 1969 to teach English to children and learn to play the Paraguayan harp.
Mrs Munro said: “We had come across the Paraguayan harp the year before when a British family, who had formed a music group called Los Picaflores (The Hummingbirds) visited our parents.
“We listened to them play, loved the sound, and when they returned to Paraguay we bought their harps.
“We were both absolutely taken with the lively, rhythmic, Latin sounds of Paraguayan harp music and also the fact that we could learn it by ear. So when the chance to go to Paraguay came up the following year, we jumped at the chance.”
Mrs Munro fell in love with a man her sister taught English to – Robert, now 58, – in Paraguay and the pair married in 1974 as did Margaret three months later.
She said: “It was actually Margaret who taught him, but when he visited England she had a boyfriend, so it was he and I who ended up together.”
Later the sisters were taught by Bill Morgan a leading Paraguayan harpist in London and they have been playing the harp ever since, in recitals, concerts and fundraisers across Oxfordshire, both together and as soloists.
Mrs Munro has also held a Paraguayan Harp Festival at her home in Appleton for the past seven years, attracting harpists from around Europe.
During her next trip to Paraguay in November she hopes to join a planned Guinness World Record attempt in which 400 harpists will play together simultaneously – the record is currently 201.
Mrs Munro added: “People who hear Paraguayan harp music are usually a little surprised.
“They perhaps expect slower, more mournful music from the harp, but the Paraguayan version is not only lighter to carry than the Irish and classical harps, and has no pedal, but we also play with our nails, as well as our finger pads, producing very light and rhythmic tones.”
Mrs Scruby added: “When we play together we tend to dress the same and sit facing each other, to give the audience a mirror image.”
Both sisters trained in the medical profession, but have been professional musicians most of their working lives.
As grannies, Mrs Scruby has four children and four grandchildren, while Mrs Munro has two children and two grandchildren.
Mrs Scruby plays at a charity performance at Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel, Sandford on Friday, October 18.
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