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Reasons for mysterious gender imbalance in harp playing…?

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 30 total)
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  • #113288
    Sonya Wiley
    Member

    I’m new to the harp world ; if most harpists are women have you noticed most technicians are men?

    #113289
    tony-morosco
    Member

    Sonya, I find it funny because at least half of the harpists I know are men, but my harp technician is a woman. I must live in Bizzaro world.

    #113290
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Back a few centuries ago when I was young, I had the impression that the harp world was dominated by men….Grandjany, Zabaleta, Salzedo, Osian Ellis…all European.

    I think Women’s Lib had something to do with women getting out to play more, as in other fields of work. They no longer wanted to stay home and clean the house, and gadgets were becoming widespread…an automatic washer and dryer…a self-defrosting refrigerator (yep, it took a lot of time and bother to defrost), i.e. labor-saving devices that freed up time for women. (The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation, according to Wikipedia.)

    #113291
    Sid Humphreys
    Spectator

    I think Sylvia has a good point there, but also teachers (like Salzedo) liked the girls. He didn’t want to teach men. He liked swooning the girls. Salzedo said that men looked awkward playing the harp. I know that he alone is not responsible for this but it DID aide the swing towards a women’s instrument.
    I’ve always heard of his female students… did Salzedo have any male students? Never did bother to read his book.

    #113300

    perhaps a video isn’t the best way to go cause I’m sure maybe it would make more sense if you could hear it in person..I just can’t see that its buzzing anywhere so maybe its just the string should be replaced

    #113301
    kathy-chanik
    Participant

    I think it’s the lever. If the string sounds fine in the open position (lever off) but sounds funky when the lever is engaged then the string is rattling against it in some off way. I don’t think changing the string will help. You don’t show the levers so I can’t see what kind they are, but you should probably just take the harp back to the shop and have them adjust it for you.

    #113302

    Yeah, you’re right. I’m not even sure why I didn’t think of that to begin with lol. But yeah, the first times I was playing it, the lever was disengaged then I flipped it and thats when I showed it sounded a bit weird. You probably cant tell but there isn’t that much buzz. Its just the ever slightest vibration that makes it sound goofy. But I tried looking and couldn’t really see where it was buzzing or anything.

    I can’t really take it to the shop cause I’m renting it from a private owner and I’m not supposed to do anything with it w/ out talking to him first and also, I don’t really want to do anything thats going to be costly. I may just wait till my rentals done since I’ll be renting a different after then.

    Thanks for the insight!

    #113292
    Sylvia
    Participant

    Yes, he did. My teacher (a man) was a student of Salzedo’s!

    #113293
    Sid Humphreys
    Spectator

    That’s good to know Sylvia, thanks!

    #113294
    Sylvia
    Participant

    In fact, when my teacher wanted to buy a new harp, he felt obliged to buy a Salzedo model, even though he DID NOT LIKE the style!
    That’s how powerful the Salzedo charisma was (still is for some people).
    I wouldn’t play a Salzedo model if someone GAVE it to me. Neither do I play the technique.

    #113295

    Somehow it’s an interesting question, historically, but on the other hand I don’t get it…does it really make a difference how many men or women play this wonderful instrument? I think the most important thing is that we all just enjoy playing our harps, apart from gender or playing styles. My 2 cents…

    #113296
    jimmy-h
    Member

    Earlier today I saw a youtube video of the air force band doing an impromptu performance at the air and space museum. And, yep, male harpist.

    You can see him at 2:34 but his name tag is concealed by the soundbox. Maybe he’ll pop up on the forum or someone may know who he is?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIoSga7tZPg

    #113297
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    Eric Sabatino is the Air Force harpist.

    #113298
    Sylvia
    Participant

    What a great performance! (they didn’t show the harp enough, tho)
    I wondered about the strings. Our band has at times had cello and bass, but never fiddles.

    #113299
    kreig-kitts
    Member

    If you go to their web site (@www.usafband.mil), the band includes several ensembles, including the Concert Band, Ceremonial Brass (funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, receiving foreign dignitaries, etc.), the Air Force Strings, and the Singing Sergeants. he Air Force Concert Band is also unique among the service bands for having a small cello section. In this case, the flash mob seems to have combined some of the groups. Living in DC, I have several friends who play in various military bands, so I’ve picked up bits of info here and there. They’re also one of the best sources of no-admission-fee music in the area. Working near the Navy Memorial, sometimes on my way home I stumble upon a concert.

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