I would love to know if other harpists also experience such a tsunami of ridiculous idiotic comments from the public, at gigs, or if it is just me. At every single occasion where ANYBODY sees me with the harp, I get the question, “Don’t you wish you rather played the flute?”.
I’ve only been playing harp a couple of years, and I have only had 2 professional gigs, and YES already someone said, “Don’t you wish you played flute?” to which I replied, “No, I don’t wish I played flute because I DO play flute. Harp is more fun.” And I do play flute, and it’s true. And EVERYONE asks me how much
I have gotten the how much does your harp cost and oh you wish you played a smaller instrument. I dont find either comment rude in anyway. I think those who find it rude are taking themselves too seriously. Most people have not felt the depth of emotion or feel for the instrument that we have, so we can not expect them to act in a way that they have.
I’m with you, Haha. It’s a pretty valid question, I think, becuase it’s not something people come in contact with every day. I always answer every question as well as I can. And I get the “Led Zep” question EVERY time…can’t people pick a different band for once? Like Kansas? Or Fleetwood Mac? Just to shake it up a little….
(I now have the sudden urge to play “Magnum Opus” or “Songbird”…)
yes i have been asked a lot i am sick of that, especially when i had no harp, but i usually answered them ,that its my fate and have to accept it, or i said i love this instrument a lot. no need to be upset, just say that, you know there are many problems in our life need to solve .
I’ve gotten the comment about the harp covered up looking like a big oven mitt, too! For me the oddest was when someone said I was playing a cello. I’ve had people from other countries ask what the instrument I’m playing is called in English. The most memorable exchange was at a software convention where I was asked to dress in white and wear angel wings while playing harp for a web hosting firm. A guy, with a bit of a leer, asked me if I was a fallen angel. I said, “No, I’m on a mission from God.” and I said it nicely. I think it embarrassed him.
What I really hate is when people come up and touch, or even play, your harp without asking. That I find to be extremely rude.
Mr. Sara, though it doesn’t happen often, people have actually touched and played my harp while I’m playing or standing nearby. They’ll come over and pluck a bass string, or play it while they’re talking to me. Most of the time I inwardly cringe but don’t say anything, but I will say very loudly to children, “Don’t touch” hoping their parents will hear and pull them away.
When I’m on a break, I cover my harp with a very pretty cover made out of a white, sheer fabric so that you can still see through it a little. It’s like drapery fabric that lets light through. It looks nicer than a regular dust cover which some hotels and restaurants don’t want you to use. (They still want the harp to look nice while you’re away.) If young children are nearby, I go to their parents and tell them that the harp is made to tip, weights about 80 pounds, and that I wouldn’t want their children to get hurt should it fall over. Parents get the idea.
If you plan to leave your harp at the restaurant, you need to ask the manager for a place to store your harp that will be out of the way and safe. Sometimes you can have it locked away in a small room/large closet that can just be for the harp or it can be placed in someone’s office. Or, if there’s enough room for the trunk to be placed somewhere, you can lock your harp in there.
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