harper or harpist?

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    Jessica A

    I wonder what lever harp players call themselves.

    Pat Eisenberger

    Personally I refer to myself as a “harper,” but that is mainly because I play Celtic music almost exclusively. My lever harp is also very Irish in appearance.

    When you say “harpist” I think that most people envision a pedal harp. While I currently also have a pedal harp, it’s not the one I take out in public.

    Karen Johns

    I agree with Pat. It’s kind of like the difference between a fiddler and a violinist. I think of myself as mostly a harper, because of the venue of music I play, and the fact I play a lever rather than pedal harp.

    Having said that, however…the line can become very blurred when you have a lever harp that looks like a pedal harp and you play only classical music on it (for instance). And, it depends on the person. Some people are touchy at being designated either a “harper” or a “harpist”. I’m cool with either term, but prefer harper.


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