I have recently come across some posts that suggest naming your harp is important.
In past discussions on this it seemed that a lot of harpists do name them, but it is nice to see I am not alone in not naming mine.
Although I consider my harps beautiful works of art in themselves, they are, first and foremost, tools to me that I use to make my music. I have no more desire to name them than I would to name my favorite hammer if I were a carpenter.
That said, I have only once named an inanimate object. I practice Japanese swordsmanship and I named my favorite sword Butterfly. It was a joke actually (I had just seen Madam Butterfly for the first time and she committed suicide with a Japanese sword and so I referred to it as my “Butterfly Sword”) but it stuck and I still sometimes refer to that sword as Butterfly without thinking.
Of the harps I’ve had over the years, some I’ve named and some not – just depending on whether a name popped into my head and if it seemed to fit! The two I have now are Chocolate (a walnut Thormahlen Serenade) and Freyja (a mahogany Camac Athena Concert Grand).
Naming your harp is really a matter of personal choice. I don’t think naming your harp is as important as playing it, but for me, giving a pet name to my harp makes it more “alive” to me. I’ve named my vehicles before as well. If I think about it, my first exposure to hearing about a harp having a name was in the book “The Mists of Avalon” where Kevin Harper referred to his harp as “My Lady”. I don’t know if this is based on actual ancient tradition or just the author’s fancy, but it certainly displayed the affection between harper and harp. Perhaps naming a harp or other instrument is a way we use to get in touch of our own personal muse…
Again, I am with you (and starting to think we may be kindred spirits! LOL). I also play other instruments- hammered dulcimer, flute, irish whistle,bodhran, and voice. Funny thing is, I’ve only named the hammered dulcimer (Sylvia). Maybe it’s more common in stringed instruments? Or perhaps larger instruments?
I can’t part with any of my instruments, any more than I could cut off a limb. I sold my very first harp, a lap harp I had built from a kit more than a year ago. I still think about that little harp and wonder how she’s doing, and wish I had her back.
I’ve named my instruments, but not in a serious way. For me it’s just silly fun. My harp is named Penelope, my flute is Chloe, and my piccolo is Alice. My Studio harp (by musicmakers) is named Edgar. Whenever I have to leave a rehearsal for a few minutes during a break I always ask a friend to ‘babysit.’ I never think of them as separate entities though. I play my flute and harp and they are extensions of me. Naming is just for fun.
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