column

best pop harp player

Home Forums Coffee Break best pop harp player

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 43 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #103588
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    You’re right Saul about classical not being the pop music of it’s day. Pop music before recordings and radio was almost entirely music that amateur musicians could play. Music that people could play in their homes. Recordings and radio(and later television and movies) changed all of that. Suddently the field of professional pop musician came into being, raising the standard enormously. Now pop musicians play and sing at a level far above any amateur musician. And any amateur musician who plays for anyone but himself is held to a much higher standard.

    #103589
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    David- Wouldn’t it be wonderful to put together a series of CD’s of these great artists from the past. Several of them could be grouped together on the same CD. Their recordings really ought to be made available again.

    #103590
    David Ice
    Participant

    That would be a great project…..I have some recordings of Gail Laughton, including his Tea For Two.

    #103591

    Based on that definition, what about the arrangments of Sylvia Woods?

    #103592
    tony-morosco
    Member

    Actually that someone isn’t here. I was just relaying something another musician had said to me. I agree, Classical isn’t pop. Classical is Art Music. Folk Music is the music by and about regular people, and pop music is everything else ;^)

    There really isn’t any music that doesn’t borrow from something else and Art music has definitely had a strong influence on both folk and pop music. And folk music, of course, has had influences on Art Music.

    Personally I like the quote from Duke Ellington; “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.”

    #103593
    Jerusha Amado
    Participant

    Tony,

    I understand why you’re using broad-based terms to describe music and hence why you have everything falling under three fairly distinct categories.

    #103594
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    To me the division between classical and pop(including jazz) is that in classical the artist is expected to perform the music exactly as written, adding only his or her own interpretative details. In pop, jazz, and maybe folk, the performer is expected to create his own arrangement, with virtually nothing written down. In performing pop music, playing a written out arrangement is frowned on, even ridiculed, while in classical, there is a strict adhearance to the written page. It wasn’t always like this. in the 18th century,printed classical music was pretty bare bones, and the performer was expected to improvise and fill out what was written. So in a major way, 20th century pop music is almost exactly like 18th century classical music, particularly French music.

    #103595

    What is your question about? Arrangements of folk tunes, classical themes, etc., are merely that, arrangements. Simplified versions of classical pieces are not classical music in the full sense. Sylvia Woods is a folk musician from way back, a folk harpist. I don’t know the extent of her classical background.

    #103596

    I believe I have an unplayed lp of Gail Laughton’s Harps of the Ancient Temples. (I have one well played.)

    What was so revelatory about Ruth Berman’s swing sets was how far she went with her arrangements, using cadenzas to modulate between songs, quoting pieces by Salzedo. If she were studying with him, I would bet that his hand was in them, and this is how he would have played pop music had he done so. They are far more imaginative than the many players who were basically making “muzak.”

    #103597
    tony-morosco
    Member

    Saul,

    Sylvia Woods does have a background in Classical music. She has studied with both Marjorie Call and Susann McDonald. She is simply one of a growing number of Classically trained Pedal Harpists who have chosen instead to focus on Lever harp. I think she would best be considered to be primarily both a folk and pop harpist, as her arrangements seem to be equally distributed between folk

    #103598
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Virtually all of the really good pop and jazz harpists have a very solid classical background. That’s because,,,THAT’S HOW YOU LEARN TO PLAY THE INSTRUMENT. Berkelee School of Music in Boston is a world renowned center for all aspects of the popular music industry. But the students, in their private lessons, study classical repertoire again, because that’s how you learn to play the instrument.

    I’m always astounded when I see people flocking to take workshops with Deborah Hansen-Conant or Ray Pool on playing popular music. Most of these people can barely play the instrument. Do they really think that a workshop will do them that much good or make them sound like Deborah or Ray, who are both very well trained classical musicians?

    #103599
    catherine-rogers
    Participant

    I have that Swing Time album and it’s great. Tell us about the arrangement of O Holy Night. Is it “straight” or jazzy? Is it published?

    #103600
    tony-morosco
    Member

    Carl,

    For a moment I read that last part as implying that Deborah or Ray could barely play the instrument, then I re-read it and realized you were saying most of the people taking the workshops could barely play.

    I have to agree with you. Before you can run you have to walk, and in the harp world that means developing a good basic technique first. And while there are methods of playing that don’t involve classical technique (particularly some of the techniques taught in the convent schools in Ireland), most of the best harpists today, despite their

    #103601
    tony-morosco
    Member

    Catherine,

    It is actually very “classical” in style and it is published. It is published by Mrs. Harris’ own company, Sumark Press, and is available through Harps Etc. in Walnut Creek CA and from Lyra Music in Palm Bay Florida. I don’t know what other retailers carry it.

    #103602
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Tony- I couldn’t agree with you more. Technique is just as important in playing Pop or jazz as it is in playing classical. The more technique you have, the more you can do with the instrument, and the more of the instrument you can use. I have heard some pop harpists who frankly couldn’t play very well, and they were severely limited as to the range of the instrument they could use, as well as the types of patterns they could play. Good technique is good technique for all kinds of playing. There isn’t a seperate technique for jazz or pop.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 43 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Recent Replies