Grandjany Method

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    8048-_ on #148036

    Hi everyone,

    I am writing a paper about Grandjany Method. As far as I know Grandjany had never written a method book. Then how come there’s Grandjany method? And how did it “begin”? Why wasn’t it called Jamet method? Laskine method? As they were both Hasselmans students and were taught French harp method.


    barbara-brundage on #148037

    There isn’t a “Grandjany method”. Mr Grandjany played and taught the French method, but the desire to create gurus causes some people to assign his name to standard French-style playing especially if they know little about it.

    He would have been the very first to disavow this whole idea, based on everything I’ve ever heard about him from his students. There are a great many people still around who studied with him. If you get in touch with any of them they will be happy to set the record straight, I’m sure.

    barbara-brundage on #148038

    One of my favorite stories about Mr. Grandjany and his supposed method was told me by a harpist who studied at a major conservatory with another teacher. Her teacher knew she hoped to go on to do study with Mr. Grandjany after graduation, so the teacher pointed out that Mr. Grandjany always held his thumbs in a particular way which was quite different from the student’s usualy position (can’t remember whether he bent his thumbs and she held hers straight or vice versa).

    Anyway, she worked and worked and worked to copy his position, and when she got to her first lesson she played a while, and then he stopped her and said, “But why do you do that with your thumbs? You look so uncomfortable.”

    8048-_ on #148039

    Thanks Barbara. I read many journals and books about Mr. Grandjany and he was such a humble person that he would never brag about how well he plays the harp. I agree that he would be the first one to object to the idea of naming the harp method as Grandjany method.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #148040

    Labels just get in the way of working with various hand and finger shapes and sizes. No two harpists’ hands are going to look exactly alike on the strings, unless the harpists are identical twins. I love the story about Grandjany’s bemusement at the attempt to copy his thumbs.

    carl-swanson on #148041

    I think the term “Grandjany Method” came from the fact that his main competitor, Salzedo, very agressively promoted his “Salzedo Method.” People at the time probably assumed that since Grandjany taught something different, it must be Grandjany method.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #148042

    There are several French methods from the early 20th century. I believe Grandjany studied with Renie and probably used her method, along with his own material. There are also the Jamet, Salzedo and other methods. Do we have a complete list of methods?

    Misty Harrison on #148043

    Maybe the problem isn’t Salzedo “aggressively” marketing his method or with people wanting to make gurus. Maybe it’s just that sometimes when you don’t have the teacher around anymore you want to gather all the information they had so you can still learn from them or share it with your students or hold on to something. It’s really human nature to do that. A lot of people probably talk about Grandjany method because they don’t know if there was one or not because they didn’t study with him or because they did study with him and want to make sense of the valuable lessons they learned and maybe they feel bad there isn’t a published method because lots of his students have little exercises and things he wrote for them.

    Misty Harrison on #148044

    Saul’s right too that Grandjany studied with Renie. Both Hasslemans and Renie.

    Those videos of Grandjany that were made when he was in his 80’s should help and there’s an introduction on there by one of his students.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #148045

    It’s also amusing how so many people who consider themselves devotees, call it the “Grandjanay” method. Salzedo and certainly his disciples did promote his method aggressively. He was very astute at promotion. It was a missionary zeal, born of real faith and belief in his vision and teachings. That is why it has lasted and is so concrete. But, yes, it was very French, and all of his texts were bilingual, though I have always wondered how many French harpists read them. The idea of launching a new, separate school is part of French teaching in general. The book, French Pianism, is very enlightening in this regard, and there are many more schools of French pianism than harpism, though there are many parallels between them.

    zach-hatcher on #148046

    I play exclusively with the French style but it is not the same as the Grandjany method. I feel that technique is relative and after all as Rita Costanzi says, “the technique is the slave of the music.” As long as music is made the meathod is irrelevent. It may be like the way renie students are taught. Because of her small hands she bent her fourth finger and now all her students play like that. The Grandjany students probably just adapted nuances into a technique.

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