Where is your harp taking you? What tangents have you found too good to resist.

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #156114

    Hi Everyone

    I’m really interested to know why you are playing the harp and where you hope to take it. Did your initial ideas about it change once you gained exposure to the music? Initially I bought a harp to play for myself and learn all those “celtic” pieces. It seemed to fit with my ideal about reviving some sort of ancestral history. But once I started playing I discovered that the music I truly liked the sound of and found satisfying to play weren’t celtic pieces at all. I fell in love with early music

    John McK on #156115

    I too really love early music even though I don’t have a harp (yet.)

    My initial goal (when I get

    brook-boddie on #156116


    Very interesting question!

    unknown-user on #156117

    Like many harpists of my generation, I began playing on a troubador harp with Sam Milligan’s books. I couldn’t wait to get to a pedal harp and play classical music too. I continued to play early music as well. I went on to study voice, dance, and have become a composer and writer as well, but it is all harp-centered. I have done some historical research and begun publishing music. The one continuous theme is that the harp is expensive and constantly wants to be fed strings, parts, new music, more music, new music, old music, more music, more, more. He is very greedy, and hard to put to sleep at night. He’s a little more quiecent since I bought him a gold crown, but what a superiority complex he has.

    jennifer-buehler on #156118

    Being a performing harpist!

    unknown-user on #156119

    Well, I doubt if too many people have a story like mine. . . . About three years ago a guy came to our church and after the service was praying for individual people.

    Havalah@Yarashus.com on #156120

    Wonderful! I hope God takes you takes you far with it!

    andee-craig on #156121

    What an interesting topic! Barbara, my story starts a bit similarly to yours. It wasn’t another person who mentioned it to me, but a voice inside my head (I sound like a crazy person! he he!). Like you Barbara, it was something I never *really* could have seen myself doing and I never considered myself particularly musical. I also had the dreaded piano lessons as a child but quit.

    I decided to look into it. At the same time I was just getting interested in Irish trad music. Within a year I found a teacher. I had a lesson every week for 10 years! In less than a year of playing I was starting to get gigs! A coffee shop here, a wedding or a party there…

    I started bringing my smaller harp to Irish sessions. A few years later I started up on the fiddle within with the same teacher.

    On one of my trips to Ireland I met my husband and I now live in England (originally from Philadelphia). The journey continues…

    deb-l on #156122

    great topic!

    jessica-wolff on #156123

    Folk and classical, especially Renaissance and Baroque–some of that I play both on guitar and on harp–and anything I particularly like that doesn’t fall into any particular category. Various kinds of ethnic music–Yiddish, Greek, Portuguese, Scottish–that might be described as folklike. I’m gonna try Klezmer on harp, why not? And blues.

    Tell the truth, I didn’t have anything specific like Irish in mind when I started to play the harp. I just wanted to play it and had wanted to for many years. My trio was going to be guitar, lute and harp, but I turned out playing guitar, harp and banjo instead.

    elly-mccabe on #156124

    Ooh good question.

    I liked playing Celtic music too at first on mine but prior to buying a harp and learning to play it I was writing my own music and songs for piano and guitar. I ended up transferring my writing abilities to the harp and really, haven’t looked back. It is so satisfying when you find that perfect melody that expresses exactly how you feel at the time, and everyone can hear it when you play it on your harp. I never expected to be able to make a career out of my harp playing as I’m not exactly classically trained but now I play about four shows every month and have written two albums. 😀

    Ooh, I know this seems to be a little bit taboo with most people, but why don’t classical harpists like to play baroque? I think it sounds beautiful :3

    HBrock25 on #156125

    Wow, a six-year-old question still garnering responses.

    I fell in love with the harp when I saw Harpo Marx playing his in the movies.

    kay-lister on #156126

    My harp, but more precise – my teacher, has taken me to harp experiences I NEVER dreamed I would have.

    Gillian Bradford on #156127

    I bought a lever harp because I basically thought I liked folk music. But like the OP what I actually liked was early music. I still like celtic folk and my lever harp, but I absolutely get drawn to Gothic Harps and their hollow and woody sound. They kind of remind me more of xylophones than harps. Everytime I see an early music group in concert I’m in raptures.

    I don’t really know where to go harp-wise next. The baroque harps absolutely ring my bells but the three rows of strings scare the daylights out of me. I have enough trouble with one set and some levers. But baroque and gothic harps absolutely thrill me in terms of sound and aesthetics.

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