Many times when people think about harp and harpist, do you think people classify harpist as people who have money and/or come from a wealthy family. Is harp associated with money? Please give me your thoughts.
Around here in the Puget Sound/Seattle area harpists are probably associated with your typical low income struggling musicians. That would likely be because there are a lot of harpists and quite a few harp makers in the area. Same situation around San Francisco.
When I lived in Cleveland and just starting to learn – mostly with well to do people. That’s Salzedo Chalifoux and Kondonassis country, so go figure – I never met even one dedicated lever harp player and as for the clarsach, banish the thought.
So maybe one might conclude that it depends on local exposure.
I think that harp is like any of instrument as far as player affluence is concerned. There are those that come from wealthy backgrounds and those that don’t. Most working professional harpists (freelance) would tell you that finances are a struggle, as they are for any musician living this lifestyle. Think of it in terms of pop stars: there are a few who make a lot of money, and a bunch that make ends meet… this is certainly true of harpists.
Small harps have become so reasonably priced these days, even adult beginners do not need to fall into a higher tax bracket than the rest of us. The instrument has become much more accessible in the past few years… but with that being said it is still extremely expensive and specialized.
I think that the harp is associated with money from an outside perspective only.