when people move your harp

Posted In: Coffee Break

  • Participant
    Alison on #189035

    Even if it’s wrapped up, I get quite annoyed and concerned when someone moves my harp in my absence – especially through doors when it could get chipped on the edge.
    I took my stool etc to the car after a concert and returned to find the harp outside !! This happened once before when setting up in an orchestra on different levels, despite strict instructions not to move it after I’d undone the straps. Why people think they’re being helpful baffles me, usually by ones who like to steal control…. I trust other harpists, but as for the rest, hands off !!

    Member
    Alyson Webber on #189044

    I think there was a thread somewhere of a sign that reads “Touch the Harp and DIE.” Might be effective 🙂

    Or, perhaps a more subtle. “Please do not touch.” Depending on your personality.

    I have a co worker who believes in “traditional” roles for men and women. I had my pedal harp in my office as I had to leave from work to go to a concert. He threatened all day to help me move the harp, despite me saying I had it covered. He caught me trying to sneak out, and followed me to my car. I remembered some of the comments in the “Freelance Chronicles: Episode 1” about “helpful” people. I then gave him a task that would not pose any harm to the harp – open the side door and guide the column behind the drivers seat. He wasn’t happy he didn’t get to lift it, but placated enough.

    Participant
    Cindy Cripps-Prawak on #189066

    Hi Alyson,
    I am a neophyte harpist and only move my harp for exams and small student recitals, and I have to wholeheartedly agree. I have a LH Troubadour VI and I typically now refuse any help. I have seen my beautiful harp wobble a bit too much in the hands of others. If she is going to take a dive…..I want to be the one close by who will throw herself under her to keep her from damage.

    thanks for the comment

    Member
    Alyson Webber on #189081

    Perhaps in the case of someone “threatening” to help (as harpists see it, “offering” as others see it ), give them the stool, the music stand, anything that would have you make a second trip and abandon the harp.

    I have a folding bench and music stand that I load into my backpacking bag along with my music. That way, I have everything with me in one shot. The only problem is when I need my door stops that are now in the bottom of my pack… but that’s only happened once 🙂

    I can see if you have a performance where you want your stool to be “pretty” that may not work, but I’ve seen some amazing things strapped on to hikers. Take your gear to a hiking shop and see what can be done. Army navy stores also have naked external frame packs which are out-of-vogue with the trail hikers, but some clever strapping techniques and you never know.

    Participant
    Sylvia on #189084

    I agree with Alyson…do it all in one shot so the harp isn’t left unattended.

    I have a folding bench which I hang on the harp with a length of rope (tied in a circle…top goes over the harp column, and the other end of the rope circle goes under the legs of the bench so the bench hangs against the side of the harp. When I need a stand, I use a folding stand which I carry in a homemade cloth case with a cloth handle…which I hang over the other side of the harp. Of course, sound equipment is a second trip.

    One glitch is that when I have to change from a fancy dress to harp moving clothes, I do it after everything is packed up and ready to go, but no one has ever been ambitious enough to move anything while I was gone.

    As for doorstops…I have two kinds, and neither one usually works, so I look for one of those big ashtrays to move against the door (which are not heavy, tho they look it), a rug nearby to stuff up under it, etc., or prop some of my gear to hold it back. It’s amazing that sometimes I’ll be struggling with a door, and some jerk will walk right past me and not even offer to hold it, but that’s life in the harp world.

    Participant
    Alison on #189094

    I think the answer every time would be to tell the fixer upfront that no-one, (mark) no-one is to touch or move the harp without the harpist’s specific authority and that if it were to be damaged there would be insurance implications. So that way, they’ll get the message themselves..!!

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #189095

    I want all you lovely female harpists out there to know that you are not the only ones that get offered help with moving/loading a harp! I am small, 5′ 6″, and just about every time I move a harp, some nice man offers to help. I just say, “thank you sir, but I am used to doing it myself.” Usually my sweet wife is there with me to move the bench and other accessories, but some of the helpful guys usually watch to see if we can indeed load the pedal harp into our car!

    Have a great day,
    Balfour

    Participant
    Victoria on #189107

    Well, I am the opposite! No one has ever offered to help me even though I’m visibly struggling. But…once I was at an orchestra rehearsal and I was told to leave my harp there overnight as the rehearsal will start early in the morning. The next morning my harp was in the corner of the room and apparently they used the room for some party/function the night before. Luckily nothing happened to my harp.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #189169

    My worst experience with that was at Carnegie Hall, where you were not allowed to bring your own instrument on stage, the stagehands had to do it. And, after the concert, I found my naked harp standing alone on 56th Street, shivering in the December wind. But, as I found out, you can’t say anything to the stagehands, and neither could the management.
    I’m sure the banging of the base of my harp is part of what led to its needing to have the bottom body frame replaced. Also, the trunks had no padding underneath the harp, and the cushions were not enough to prevent the point from hitting the trunk on impact. Professonal movers can be the best and the worst.

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