November 4, 2010 at 5:33 am #73063
Recently, there was an event whereby multiple lever harps were played for a group of judges. The harps were not visible, a “blind test” or sorts where the judges could only hear the harps but could not see them. As an owner of a Pratt Chamber Harp, I am thrilled to have learned that the Chamber Harp was voted the “Best Sounding Lever Harp” at the event! Harp sound is a very personal thing and of course, difference ears prefer different things. As my father says, “that is why they make vanilla and chocolate ice cream”. That said, I LOVE the sound of my Chamber Harp and can totally understand how it would have won!November 4, 2010 at 5:40 am #73064Jerusha AmadoParticipant
Did you happen to discover the brands of the other harps that were at the tasting?
JerushaNovember 4, 2010 at 2:02 pm #73065AnonymousInactive
For all harp tastings that I have heard of (particularly Somerset where this was definitely a big deal), many people are listening to the harps (whoever wants to participate at the conference as a listener) and there is no official judge.November 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm #73066
Rachel, your term, “Harp Tasting” is perfect since it is not a competition and yes, there are not official judges but let’s face it, as humans, we judge all day long. I will ask John Pratt what the event was. He posted the news on the Pratt Harp FaceBook page.November 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm #73067deb-lParticipant
I don’t think I could choose a ‘best sounding’ harp because I like different harps for different reasons.November 4, 2010 at 10:02 pm #73068kathy-chanikParticipant
Karen, I hope you’re not speaking of the harp tasting at Southeastern Festival this past weekend!! I was one of the players. We played 17 lap harps and 16 larger lever harps for a large audience of festival attendees, at least 70 or 80 people, there were certainly no “judges”. The point is for each person to write down their comments on their own sheet, form their own opinions as to which harps they liked and draw their own conclusions. Each person will have a different “favorite”. There are certainly no “winners” announced.
Yes, the Pratt Chamber harp was one of the 17 large harps. With all due respect to John Pratt, he comes from the pedal harp world, and they have NO idea what a harp tasting is, since these are verboten at pedal harp conferences. Perhaps he wasn’t speaking of the tasting this past weekend, but I think he can be forgiven for being clueless as to the purpose of a harp tasting.
Please don’t promote the idea that one harp “wins” and that a harp maker has the right to claim so. That would probably put a quick end to all harp tastings.November 5, 2010 at 1:44 am #73069
My apologies if I misrepresented something and I certainly am not trying to say that there was a “win”.
My experience with this forum is that it seems to conjure up a lot of defensiveness and lots of semantics. I often wish there was a ‘remove’ button so that one could remove what they wanted to share. I’m sorry I mentioned it.November 5, 2010 at 1:52 am #73070
I did say that the Pratt harp “won” but it meant it in a broad sense……not as if the other harps all lost and I did not say it was a contest. My choice of the word ‘win’ was a poor choice.November 5, 2010 at 4:52 am #73071kathy-chanikParticipant
Not to worry, Karen. I think if one hasn’t been to an actual harp tasting it would be logical to assume there would be a “winner”. Descriptions of it make it sound like a competition, I guess.November 5, 2010 at 5:37 am #73072
Thanks for your understanding and thanks for enlightening me.
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