March 23, 2013 - September 30, 2013
Breaking free of its rarefied profile and lofty reputation, the harp takes the leading role in a new exhibit. “The Harp: A Global Story of Man, Music and Medicine” confronts stereotypes and reveals the harp’s indelible place in the history of mankind. A six-performance companion concert series coincides with the exhibit’s opening, featuring an international slate of harps and harpists throughout the spring and summer.
"The Harp" is intended as much more than an encyclopedic look at different types of harps. Rather, the exhibit serves as a passport through man's migration across time and continents, revealing not only the harp's place in human history, but acting as a door into myriad cultural stories. The harp's narrative poignantly illustrates the cycle of making music – that alchemical, unplanned collaboration among political, economic, and sociological factors, as well as among instrument maker, musician, composer, and audience – that tells the dynamic story of how and why instruments and music-making evolve.
Museum Director Carolyn Grant asserts that the stereotypically demure harp emerges from the exhibit as a provocative puzzle piece in the story of making music. "I have never researched an instrument that has surprised me so completely as the harp" Grant said.
"Some may consider the harp to be a somewhat imposing instrument, at home in orchestras and weddings and played by women in formal dress," Grant said, "but historically the harp has had many identities and incarnations. At times it has been played exclusively by men; it has been introduced to cultures unfamiliar with it, sometimes adopted, and often transformed; it has been forbidden by conquering nations; it has been used as a political symbol of independence."
With the help of guest curator Nancy Hurrell, "The Harp: A Global Story of Man, Music and Medicine" will explore the evolution of the harp from hunter's bow to the tool of priests to the prize possession of queens. The exhibit features intricate, alluring artifacts, sound samples of harps used in a variety of musical styles, and hands-on harps for visitors to experience. It illustrates the harp's place in treating pain, autism, and dementia, and proffers insight into how the harp traveled with ancient civilizations across every continent on the planet.
The concert series commences with a performance and conversational session with renowned classical harpist Yolanda Kondonassis. Concerts run through the summer, and feature South American, African, Celtic, classical and jazz harp performances.
In conjunction with the performance series and exhibit, the museum has developed a community-outreach program, “Harps In The City,” that will bring hand-painted Harpsicles® (light and portable variations of the harp) to different locations throughout Carlsbad. Illustrated by local artists, these instruments will be on display as objects of delight and curiosity to residents, and will serve as an enticement to the Museum of Making Music harp exhibit.
Children from the Carlsbad Boys & Girls Clubs (Carlsbad Village and Bressi Ranch branches) will have the chance to learn and create music with beginner-friendly Harpsicles® during special educational sessions with harp teachers throughout the months of March and April. The harp lessons will culminate in performances for seniors at local retirement communities.
The “Harps In the City” program is funded in part by a grant made possible by The Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation.
Learn more about the "Harps in the City" Outreach
Street Address:Museum of Making Music5790 Armada DriveCarlsbad, CA 92008Phone: (760) 438-5996Fax: (760) 438-8964Toll Free: (877) 551-9976Send us an eMail