What, if any are the politics associated with harp. Are there any politics in the harp world?
I’m not particularly familiar with politics in the harp world, but in general politics are found wherever there is more than one person. To practice kindness is a good general rule. Whatever happens politically, if you’re always kind you’ll always be innocent.
If by politics you mean divisive topics and us/them speak, I think some of this may have been answered on your other question about harp popularity! 🙂
I think if speaking to a mixed group of harp players, you would have to speak carefully about harp types (lever/pedal, etc) and playing styles (French/Salzedo). That’s what seems to get people flustered most quickly. You’d be much safer discussing liberal/conservative policy or religion. 🙂
Maybe five or six years ago there was a bit of a tussle here about composition for harp.
It involved individual POV’s about what is vulgar and what is not.
I haven’t seen anything about it recently, but I believe it would fall into the general topic of “politics”.
A waitress friend of mine told me that “politics” occurs anywhere you have women working together in close proximity over a length of time. It also happens in any work situation, certainly very much in the corporate world. Sometimes it has to do with unwritten, unspoken rules, which is basically a lack of organization and communication.
Musically, politics is a natural occurence in French culture. Regardless of other countries, there are traditions of argument and rivalry in France that fill the world of piano, for example, far more pervasively than in the harp world. There are multiple schools of piano playing and teaching, and each school has its own repertoire and networks; and its own ideas of what and who is acceptable. In our world, it is more intimate, but we are also much more closely related. Despite his innovative approach, Salzedo is very much part of French musical tradition, which has its innovators, beginning with Rameau, and with the 19th-century harp masters. Bochsa was quite inventive, moreso than his pupil, Parish-Alvars, and nearly as much as Salzedo. He wrote a piece in Mexico full of tonal devices not seen again until Salzedo, and more that are unique. So, it is all cycles, and the wheel turns and turns. Therefore, treat others as you would like to be treated, and hopefully, that means with some kindness and generosity and understanding.
Oh Politics… unfortunately they are everywhere especially in the music world. I don’t think any professional harpist can escape the wrath of harp politics. Think about how you get a gig or concert referral – its all based on knowing someone and having them refer you. If someone isn’t a big fan of yours for whatever reason, they’re not going to ask you to play even if you are the perfect harpist for that event. Also think about all the harpists with orchestral jobs – 99% of the time they choose their subs and 2nd harpists themselves. Same ideas along with teaching jobs. I think dealing with politics is just part of being a human in our society. You can let these things get to you and make you mad or let it go and be the best person you can be. It’s just part of navigating this ever changing complicated world!
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