Author Topic: The Word “Harp”.  (Read 5260 times)

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cisco

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The Word “Harp”.
« on: November 22, 2019, 02:02:49 PM »
Why is a harmonica sometimes referred to as a harp ?
Search engines confirm the definition but without explanation.



Offline A.J. Fedor

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2019, 02:41:32 PM »
Dunno, but you'll never hear me use the term (except of course for the term "suckharp" since I made the term up twenty years ago)

To me, the picture below is a harp, and nothin' will ever change that. :)

dougharps

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2019, 03:55:14 PM »
I learned the term regarding diatonic, as Hohner reportedly had a model called French Harp.

Pat Missin offers more info:

https://www.patmissin.com/ffaq/q3.html


Doug S.

cisco

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2019, 04:30:26 PM »
Great info.

Offline Ray J

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2019, 01:36:19 AM »
Dunno, but you'll never hear me use the term (except of course for the term "suckharp" since I made the term up twenty years ago)

To me, the picture below is a harp, and nothin' will ever change that. :)

Same shape as a 128

Ray 
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Offline Aluvsupreme

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 03:39:44 PM »
My daughter plays the grand harp.  I only wish it was as easy to transport as a Chromatic.
 I also will never refer to a harmonica as a harp.        Brian

cisco

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 04:06:02 PM »
It is easier however to type “harp” than “harmonica”. 😊

Maybe a new abbreviation is in order ?



Offline brorat

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 07:37:05 PM »
I have no clue where the term originated. Both of my granddads called theirs harps. I have no problem referring to mine as a harp. Everyone knows what I mean, and it feels comfortable to me. Brings back good memories from a simpler time.
“Just here to harp on chromatics!”

AimlessWanderer

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2019, 08:20:49 PM »
Harp makes sense to me. A succession of long to short individually played strings, vs a succession of long to short individually played reeds (albeit split on two levels, but some early harps had staggered strings too). I probably wouldn't call in a harp in real life conversation, but it does make typing a little simpler.


Offline smojoe

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2019, 08:54:13 PM »
I believe harp originated in New Orleans. Early proponents that tended to be Cajun & Creole had a proclivity (one of my many Kleptos, lol), for naming anything WONDERFUL in a Frenchified manner. As well they should. Ergo the term 'French Harp'. Later simply shortened to harp, mouth harp, and so on.

broken

Offline Keith

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2019, 05:13:00 AM »
I know it from 'blues harp', referring to a diatonic, but no idea why, but sometimes, I will call it that.

As for my chromatics, I call them chroms, & my tremolos are just tremolos, (I suppose I could call them trems). :)

cisco

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2019, 07:25:12 AM »
What is an “axe” in Slidereze ?



Offline Keith

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2019, 08:41:24 AM »
An 'axe' is your instrument, supposedly from saxaphone players, but I know it from guitars. :)

Offline smojoe

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2019, 09:28:07 AM »
Similar to the use of ebonics of today, during the beatnick era, they were fond of slanging out various terms in order to have a language all their own. From hence came the term wood shedding. And chops. Chops referred to choppers or mouth. When you needed to improve your chops you retired to the wood shed and practiced cutting kindling. Till you were better at it. This is universal music speak not just slidereeze.

smoj


Offline A.J. Fedor

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2019, 01:09:56 PM »
"I chop a tin, I beat a skin" ;D ;D

cisco

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2019, 01:18:17 PM »
I’m starting to like Joplins “harpoon” .

Offline Keith

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #16 on: November 26, 2019, 01:26:06 PM »
As long as you don't keep it in a dirty red bandana.......... ;)

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 02:05:02 PM »
I’m starting to like Joplins “harpoon” .
Actually - Kristofferson's. ;)

I was going to say that as far as I know mostly blues guys refer to their instruments as harps while most other harmonica players don't usually. I'm with Keith...when I don't use the full word, the shortened version 'chrom' suffices, but otherwise I call my instruments harmonicas. Growing up in Scotland it was called a mouth organ so I far prefer harmonica to that. Like Age, I'm a bit particular in that a 'harp' is exactly that and not the instrument we play. :)

scotty

Offline smojoe

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2019, 04:22:03 PM »
Bobby McGhee was released Jul. 69, just in time for Woodstock Aug. 69. I started to play it in Sept 69. One of the few tunes that you can easily play in second position on a Richter tuned diat. Never liked the word harp, never liked the Joplin version. And I always played it rather fast. Like McCoy's version. Which he recorded a few years LATER. lolol. 

Btw, I never knew Charlie to play FOUR diatonics all held at the same time on a FAST tune. He WOULD do that on some slower tunes (like Danny Boy) where he used a crossed diat. on the melody and one played straight on the bridge. Then a second set if he modulated up a half tone. A total of four. I never used more than two.

Btw, when Charlie did play a chromatic, he used one that was in the same key as the tune. (are you reading this Elizabeth). We were once playing Crazy in A and after a diat. portion I went to a chromo. He asked if it was tuned in A, and I said "No, I'm using a C". He nodded in approval.

I call them chromo because I am from the planet chromo. Which has been wrongly named by the Greeks. Who are the Greeks to name our planet?   :)

smojo 

Chromatonic

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2019, 05:00:43 PM »
I (a Blues guy) don't like the word 'harp' for my mouth-operated free-reed instruments, partly because one of my siblings plays an Irish Harp. I prefer to distinguish between the two.

I refer to mine as 'instruments', or 'harmonicas', and rarely as 'axes', 'whistles' or 'heaters'.

Sometimes in conversations with friends who are accustomed to my verbal shorthand, I call them 'tonics or chroms, respectively. :D

dougharps

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2019, 05:33:22 PM »
When I refer to playing one of my chromatic harmonicas I sometimes shorten the name to "chromatic".

I played "Blues Harps" in the '70s.

I also heard non-blues players refer to "French Harps" back then.

If I do use the term "harp" I usually mean diatonic harmonica, though sometimes I mean the lager from Dublin.

The stringed variety are seldom seen around here, though a steel player friend of mine enjoys stringed harp concerts.

Robert Hunter (see my signature below) refers to the "harp unstrung" which seems to be a good description of a diatonic harmonica.

I found the info in the Pat Missin link I posted above to be interesting.


Doug S.

cisco

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2019, 06:23:59 PM »
Missin link found 🙂
Excellent!
TNX



Offline Ray J

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2019, 01:19:50 AM »
Is it a carry over from the Jews Harp

Ray
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Offline Sea Born

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2019, 07:03:48 PM »
I like these:
moothie - Scotland
gob iron - various parts of the UK

How 'bout BB, short for 'button bundle'?

Ok.  Maybe just 'chrom', tho sometimes I call it a hrmca ("HERMcuh").

 :)
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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2019, 08:36:40 PM »
I like harp unstrung, but it’s a bit awkward to say.
Moothie is my favorite and gob iron makes me smile.
Harp is just simple.

Online Gnarly He Man

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2019, 08:45:30 PM »
I say harp all the time.
Harpoon is odd,  innit?

cisco

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2019, 11:45:09 PM »
One dictionary says a person who plays a harp is a harper or harpist.

I don’t want to be either !  Identity crisis here.


Online Gnarly He Man

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2019, 11:50:24 PM »
Harmonicist.

Offline Scotty

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2019, 02:32:37 AM »
Harmonicist.

Harmonicist or harmonica player. Both work, but I agree with you, Gary - I prefer harmonicist too. It has a certain elan. Chromaticist as well.

scotty

Chromatonic

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Re: The Word “Harp”.
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2019, 02:34:04 AM »
Harmonicist.

That has a nice ring to it!  ;)