A look at the new harp exhibit at the Museum of Making Music
Related Story: The Harp: A Global Story Of Man, Music, And Medicine
ANCHOR INTRO: The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad is sponsored by NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants. KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando checked out the new exhibit on harps that opened over the weekend.
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The Museum of Making Music’s executive director Carolyn Grant likes to begin by explaining what the museum is not. It is not a hall of fame and it is not focused on any single genre of music.
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CAROLYN GRANT: We look at what we like to call the cycle of music making.
That means looking at things like how instruments emerge, how they are made, how they provoke creativity, and how composers and musicians push the development of instruments. The museum’s new exhibit focuses on the harp, which may have started with a hunter plucking the single string on his bow. The exhibit takes us from an ancient Egyptian harp to to a 1776 French harp from the court of Marie Antoinette to a modern electric harp.
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CAROLYN GRANT: I want this exhibition to pique somebody’s curiosity, whet somebody’s appetite, this isn’t a comprehensive history of the harp, it’s little tidbits that show this human need, desire, to communicate, to make music.
Tidbits like discovering how the Spanish brought the Bible and the harp to South America where the elite instrument was transformed into a folk instrument for cowboys. The Museum of Making Music’s Harp Exhibit will run through September.
Beth Accomando, KPBS News.