Hello, I am after a bit of advice and feedback for a research project I am doing about the harp.
My question is
How was the harp perceived in the 18th Century compared to present day?
I am trying to find out the general perception of the harp, that I and fellow harpists have encountered from the general public and deduce whether it is heavily influenced by the iconography from the 18th Century. My intent is to try and change the opinion of what is a very out dated view which in this modern age is very far from the truth.
I formed a focus group and asked what they thought of when you hear or see a harp and the answers I got went down the stereotypical line:
You have to be rich to play one
All harps are gold
I want to prove this perception is wrong and find out if this stereotype is having an effect on the harping world.
Have any male harpists been affected by people or comments made by others about playing the harp? And do you think this female image of the instrument puts off potential male students?
Have any teachers come across reasons for lack of students or too many students which link to the stereotype of the instrument?
The harp has come a long way in organology and its so versatile today which I feel non-harpists tend to be naive too and have no idea what the instrument is truly capable of.
I would love to hear from you if you have any opinions on this matter however relevant! Or advice on any information you think is important to the research. Thank you in advance!