How about a dreadful but true harp story? Here’s what happened, and if it’s strange enough, I can write it up in story form.
I have a Thormahlen, kind of a tipsy thing on its 4 wooden legs. I learned from my teacher to leave it always with something on either side. So I always tuck my harp in between two piano benches when I go to sleep. One morning, not five months after we bought it, I practiced before I left for school and left in a rush with only one of the two benches in front of it. I came home to find it lying on my bed, like some dead bird, but did not see anything wrong with it, so I figured my mother put it there so it would be out of the way of the cleaning lady. My mother then told my that when the cleaning lady was up on a ladder dusting the windows, she bumped it and it tipped over, but the harp seemed to have survived well. Well anyone who knows what happens to a harp when it tips over on its thin column knows that it wasn’t okay, but I didn’t know. So I felt it over, it seemed allright, until I touched the T brace. I gasped. There was a deep ravine-like crack all the way down the t brace. It took me a while to grasp what had happened. Anyway, to make an already too long story short, we had it taped with blue tape for a while, which was a sight in itself, until we shipped it up to Thormahlen in Oregon. (I’m in Los Angeles.) The T brace was replace, my harp is just like new. And we never told the cleaning lady what she did to my harp. She remains under the delusion of her first comment while lifting it up from the carpet, told to me by my mother, the unhappy witness. “It’s Okay!”
my mom and i were backstage before a harp concert at my school. i had just finished practicing some music and left the pedals set in E flat. my mom told me she’d tune my harp for me while i went to the bathroom. when i came back it was almost time for the concert to begin, so i rolled the harp out there and set the pedals and got ready while people began coming into the auditorium. i played about four notes before i realized that my harp was seriously out of tune! so i had to grab my tuning key and fix the harp as quickly as possible. i figured out later that my mom had accidentally tuned my harp to natural while the pedals were still set in E flat. oops.
I am a harpist with a small, simple lap harp… yet she is mine own, and I love her dearly. As a result of her size, I am able to take her parctically everywhere with me. I and a friend went to a harp concert one evening. We were both very excited by it, and had spent the day harping up a storm ourselves. The concert went well, until after the first intermission. The harpist wanted to do some of her quicker pieces on a small lap harp she had. The room went a bit quiet, for a while. Finally, it became apparent that the tuning key was missing. I scrabbled into my purse and came out with my harp key, which had found it’s way in there durring the course of the day. The harpist was very grateful, used it, and returned it after the concert.
I was feeling insufferably pleased with myself for the next two days.
Well, I study the harp at my city’s university conservatory. Since the harp practice rooms are on the 4th floor, it sometimes gets a little toasty and some of the harpists like to crack a window open.
We’ve had a problem in the past with pigeons flying in the windows, apping around the rooms, perching on the harps . . . well, one day, I was sitting down for a lesson with my teacher, and she stood up to tune one of the lower notes. Lo and behold – a pigeon had left a lovely *ahem* present on the tuning pin.
The night before i competed in the All-Ireland Music Competition my
friends and i decided to party rather than practice. (yes, i took my
harp–why i will never know. if it had backpack straps like a violin
case it would have made more sense.) By 4 am or so, after about 5
different pubs, we were collapsed on the doostep of the sixth in a
heap, my harp lying on its back in its case, column upward. A guy came
out of the pub, assessed the situation on its doorstep, and did the
only sensible thing to do: he mounted my harp like a horse and
proceeded to imitate cowboy yells, waving his arm about as if to lasso
something. i somehow doubt that he was inspired to do this by the
famous picture of Salzedo’s students doing the same thing entitled
“Off to t
It happened on December 20th… My daughter Arami who turned 10 years old last week (her name is originaiting from Paraguay where her mother is from) had been selected to participate at a “young talent” contest at the famous South American TV Show “Sabado Gigante” (Those from South America or Spanish based culture do recognize this show broadcasted over 30 countries in Latin America since 28 years). At 1 pm we were in the studio located in Miami, and the public started to fill the studio… When we entered into the studio I was astonished how freezing was this location, and the reason being that over time, with the lights/spots required to registed such program, the temparature get warmer and warmer… You can anticipate what happened to Arami Paraguay Harp… totally di-harmonised to the point that the coordinator of the TV Program said that we had to fix this as soon as possible… otherwise could not participate!!! We had the special instrument with us to harmonized but that was too tough for us! We called Arami?s teacher cell phone, and found out that whe was working playing Harp in a mall (this was christmast time…) at 45 miles from the TV Studio and explained her the situation! At her next break she jumped into her car and drove those 45 miles (with lots of traffic..) in about 45 minutes.
I am sometimes amazed at the amount of self-control it takes to play the harp successfully under varoius trying circumstances. This was one of those times. I was hired to play for a fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration of an Italian couple. They were from the old country and spoke almost no English. The son and daughter-in-law had just opened up a restaurant and lodge, and the first event to be held there was the anniversary celebration. There were about 120 guests in attendance, of all ages, including many children under the age of 10. The array of food set out was incredible- a table groaning with homemade pastries and cookies, a salad table loaded with dozens of ingredients, several pasta stations, a carved meat station,etc. I was set up on the dance floor with my harp, square in the middle of all the activity. In order to get to any station the waitstaff and guests had to walk across the dance floor. I’ve been in much closer quarters before, so that didn’t bother me. But just as the buffet items were being set up one of the waitresses skidded on the dance floor with the tray of desserts she was carrying. She maintained her balance, but (unfortunately for me)the platter of jello she was transporting slipped. The glass dish stayed on the tray, but the whole jello mold landed intact on the floor just in front of my harp, perfectly framed in by my harp strings. Now, anyone who has ever worked with jello knows how it loves to jiggle at the slightest invitation, and how hysterically funny that can be. And jiggle it did. At every step on the dance floor it quivered in fear that someone would step on it. With every chord I played, the jello shook in perfect time. It shuddered delicately during the slow airs. It quivered with ecstasy when I played a rousing crescendo. It shivered in perfect mimicry to the lilt of Italian voices and the expressive gestures of the guests. There was absolutely no way to avoid looking at it. I died several thousand deaths during the course of the evening until, just before the dancing started, one of the waitstaff came with a broom and shovel to pick it up. Dorothy Walsh
My wife and I maintain a very large garden. We were mulching rows with hay and news paper one day. It helps to attrack helpful worms keep back weeds and keep the ground moist during dry spells. We usually catch up on the world events at this time also. My wife saw an article amongst the papers about a woman who played the harp and was still teaching. This was interesting because she started only when she was about forty. I thought of learning the harp for sometime and thought I could do it too, being forty myself. I thought, we’ll see. Well, my wife surprised me with a lesson for our anniversary. I’ve been going now for six months without owning a harp to practice on. Spent a lot of time learning to read music. I just got a harp and am now playing for hours at a time. Just gobbling it up. Its a whole new interest, a whole new world, a whole new passion. Looking forward to Christmas with the Harp. You never know who will read that next paper you throw away. There could be something in it that could inspire the course of anothers life. Oh by the way, my teacher is on vacation for a month.
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