The Harp is Only for Spiritual or Classical Music

The Harp is Only for Spiritual or Classical Music
At one time there was a debate about whether or not the harp was solely a religious musical instrument. But thanks to breakthrough musicians like Jeff Majors, the American audience has now extended the debate to whether or not the harp is for sacred, gospel music, classical, or jazz.

Because of talented musicians like Jeff Majors who uses the harp to perform sacred, classical, jazz and gospel music, harp music is no longer associated mainly with religious music.

So how do you view this musical instrument, the harp?

The harp is a divine instrument probably played by angels and as such, should be only for classical musicians or those who play spiritual music and appreciate the divine and the heavenly. Agree OR Disagree.

♦ For those of you who may have never heard of Mr. Majors, he was the gentleman who performed his interpretation of Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd, at the memorial service for Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr.; and at a later date, he was invited to perform on the Oprah Winfrey Show. ♦ Music

Agree

overcast

Origin

I think when anything is origin found out. It is meant for pure intentions. And the thing is that often as the society moves ahead things go ahead. And on that note you can see that spiritual music has it's own assumptions but because classic music seems to be changing these days.
Posted by overcast on 10-15-2018
Wubwub

Somewhat agree

The softness of the sound of this instrument lends itself mostly to only certain types of music. Of course you can force something into another genre and still make it work, but only a chosen few instances will actually be able to make it work in such a way that no substitution will suffice and otherwise it will only be used mostly as a minor supplement, and in such cases whether this instrument stays or not on those songs will not be a significant change.
Posted by Wubwub on 10-15-2018
Barida

To an extent.

There is this church that is close to our place back then where they make use of the harp as a musical instrument and I must confess that they always sing like angels. I understand that most contemporary musics will want to focus on the harp, but this doesn't mean that we can't make things work pretty okay without the harp when they want to focus on what works better for them.
Posted by Barida on 10-16-2018
Martinsx

Maybe

Most musical instruments are linked to being used by Angels in heaven in worship to the almighty God. As a Christian, I believe in this too because it's written in the holy Bible as well about the Angels playing flute, harp and trumpet etc.
Posted by Martinsx on 10-14-2018
jaybee19

Agree

I respect and understand musicians who wants to experiment with various instruments that may be impossible to use for Pop or other genres of music except for classical but I do believe that harp shouldn't be one of those instruments that should be experimented with. For me, harp should be only used for spiritual music because it is written in the bible.
Posted by jaybee19 on 11-01-2018
jeffreyjose48

Agree

I agree that the harp is only for spiritual or classical music. Its an instrument played by David. Its also an instrument played in heaven according to the book of Revelation.
Posted by jeffreyjose48 on 10-16-2018

Disagree

MomoStarr16

Here comes the disagree.

I disagree with that. The "angel's instrument" thingy for me is just a word of mouth of a person. We really ain't sure of that.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 10-14-2018
amelia88

Can be used for whatever you like

I don’t think that it really is restricted to a certain form of music. Honestly I think the beauty of the harp can be applied to many different music genres and that’s a wonderful thing!
Posted by amelia88 on 10-14-2018
NesMarcos

Music for everybody!

I strongly believe that music is for everybody therefore, everyone can play harp. Either you have the ability or not, you can play any instruments as long as you want. However, it is a lot better if you can play it harmoniously so listeners can enjoy it well.
Posted by NesMarcos on 10-14-2018
ajahcuizon

Good with any music

I think harp isn't just for classical or spiritual music. It can be applied to various forms of music. Althought most of the time, it can be seen played by angels or goddesses, I still think that it'll still sound good with other music. It just have to blend well to the other instruments so that the rhythm will still sound good.
Posted by ajahcuizon on 10-14-2018
NerdIndeed

Anyone is welcome to play it

There is no evidence that angels do exist or heaven for them to play harps. In the stories, it seems that God is fond of listening to harp music. So He commands that angels in heaven play harps.

Nonetheless, angels don't exist, and it is like asking why people in orchestras play harps when only the harpist does this and he's human.

Posted by NerdIndeed on 10-14-2018
HappyLady

An instrument is for the Instrumentalist

The instrument itself is a mechanical thing. Anyone who can use the article to make beautiful sounds should use it in however it speaks to them and we should never limit music or musical instruments to stereotypes. That said, the harp does lend itself to celestial overtones.
Posted by HappyLady on 10-22-2018
theresajane

No

Hard is for every genre of music. Limiting in instrument to a single genre is very traditional. I respect people who remain and choose traditional ways. But, I would want to say that we are in a generation of new things. We can try harp in a different genre, and I always think it would sound great in some songs.
Posted by theresajane on 11-09-2018
emiaj55

Harp is an instrument

Harp is an instrument like the guitar or the piano, or the lute. As such, it is in the hands of the musician if it would be fit in his genre of music. Music progresses with mankind, as we have started with rituals played in pure percussion (or maybe a caveman shrieking, i don't know, I was not born at that time) to a solemn prayer of serene notes and melody. But in whatever era, instruments are used by musicians to bring life to music. Moreover, would God not approve of man enjoying His gift of music? In the end, it matters not whether we use the harp in playing for Him, or we use a stereo. They are merely instruments. Because what matters is what is in the player/musicians heart when they play the music. It is what is in his heart that elevates music into prayer; and not what is in his hand.
Posted by emiaj55 on 10-16-2018
GeorgeDr

Disagree all the way

First of all , I don't think angels even exists , but I get the idea you are trying to convey. That being said , it sounds too close minded to exclude a musical instrument to a specific category since that's one way to actually not be creative.

Music has evolved through the ages by doing exactly the opposite of that , mixing , blending , re-thinking etc. So in fact I think the harp should be used more and more creative than it has until now.

Posted by GeorgeDr on 10-26-2018
Jstreeter26

Interesting Instrument

I disagree that the harp is only for religious or classical music. It has a beautiful sound that I feel can fit well into indie or relaxing music.
Posted by Jstreeter26 on 11-03-2018
astraherondale

The Harp knows no genre

Playing the harp shouldn't be limited to merely religious or spiritual music. I, for one, never knew that harps were only supposed to play religious songs. They may be associated with such genre as written in the scriptures, but that doesn't mean we should stick to that even at this age.
Posted by astraherondale on 11-05-2018
totoadrian

Nope

The best are Barbara Brundage’s series of books, which don’t sacrifice the feel of the original pieces, aren’t shy on the lever changes. There is also Dewey Owens’ book of advanced wedding music for lever harp, which contains lots of interesting pieces. Bonnie Shaljean has some great classical arrangements too, which I’ve found challenging and really enjoyed playing. Plus, there are Dominic Bouchard’s series of books, from which many of the set pieces for the Associated Board non-pedal syllabus at high grades are taken.

I’ve found that I can often work from pedal harp music. While I obviously can’t manage drastic key changes, modulations and accidentals are usually work-in-able – or work-round-able – especially if you keep the left hand close to the levers.

Posted by totoadrian on 11-05-2018
YoloBoy

Depends on the situation

I do believe that the harp is used for spiritual or classical music but on the other hand it is really depending on the instrumentalist or the orchestra performing. All instruments can be used for any type of genre but there is a limit of course. You would not see the harp playing in such a music genre of Metal or Rock. But no one ever said you cannot play the harp using the songs of metal or rock which is a different story. In the end, it really depends on the person using the instrument.
Posted by YoloBoy on 11-16-2018
jessie271

Harp is for any Music

The "Harp" produces a very nice and relaxing sound. But it is not just for spiritual or classical music. It can also be for almost any music. But it's just that, harp was actually used more during the Biblical times, like David, who would always play the harp to worship God. He would also play his harp before King Saul to ease away the king's depression.
Posted by jessie271 on 12-07-2018

Comments

kaka135
I am not a religious person. I didn't know harp is associated with spiritual music until I read this. Thanks for sharing about the harp and Jeff Majors. I will find out more about his great performance. Harp is not popular in my country, I have not personally seen one. I remember I got to know about harp was from the children's book "Jack & the beanstalk". It's just a musical instrument for me, and I don't relate it to religion. To me, it's for classical music.
Posted by kaka135 on 10-14-2018
vinaya
Well I don't know about harp. That's because this musical instrument is not very common in my place and I do not belong to Christianity. No offense to anyone but I think angels used harps because they did not have guitar and keyboards. LOL I am not sure whether I have heard harp.
Posted by vinaya on 10-14-2018
lovely
I don't think it only used by Christians other religious bodies in my country make use of he harps during their period of worship. I believe it usually used for meditation or for deep thinking.I have even gotten about an instrument like this till I read this article again.
Posted by lovely on 10-14-2018
Martin
hahahaha. I see where you are trying to put that point on the angels and their application of harps my friend. They would have obviously picked the best instrument they could find and at such a moment the only great thing they could lay their hands on was the harp. This is nonetheless a hypothesis and I do not have any knowledge of such and I have little exposure to such christian doctrines.
Posted by Martin on 10-16-2018
Martin
I also share similar thoughts with you my friend. I personally cannot speak of the harp based on its christian setting and I also have never used it or been at a live scene where it is being applied. I would therefore not have the ability to give a lot of insight about its application in the manner and the only place I have seen it being used is in the movies.
Posted by Martin on 10-16-2018
Corzhens
I am a religious person and I go to church every Sunday. But I don’t remember hearing a harp being played in church. I have only seen and heard a harp in the movies and in tv documentary but in actual activity I have yet to experience the harp. If you will ask a music lover I guess the answer would be NO because any kind of musical instrument can be for any purpose and not exclusively for spiritual and classical music only.
Posted by Corzhens on 12-11-2018
MomoStarr16
I think both or in any other place you can used harp. It is not like a holy thing or something. If that instrument is intended only to play by the angels then we should not have the reason to have that on earth. Having angels using harp is just like in the children story.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 10-14-2018
Martin
It might just be a common popular belief which was popularized in the earlier centuries making it become even more rooted in the ages that came later on. Actually, Harps from the way I have witnessed players and professional artists playing on movies and TV are great soothing instruments and as such I can understand why many would think them holy.
Posted by Martin on 10-16-2018
nekonieden
I think anyone can play harp or it can play even in various genre but of course if that's the case then I think it is much better to use it for religious music. I don't know actually, if its truly for spiritual music then I think we should respect what it is being said there. I think there's nothing wrong with that even if you make harp as one of the musical instrument even if using other genre.
Posted by nekonieden on 10-14-2018
lovely
I know the harp as a religious instrument because I have been in some religious gathering that the harp was being played.I think it mostly played during meditations or just worship time but if it has been extended to other purposes or genre of music then it is a good one. one can enjoy it from different angles now.
Posted by lovely on 10-14-2018
chatbox
Harp music is relaxing and it is often played in spas nowadays. We'll probably find more spas than churches playing harp music. While the bible mentions the harp and the lyre in some verses alluding to worship, I don't think that's enough reason to limit its use to religious, worship, or classical music. Worship music today involves several musical instruments, usually not including a harp or a lyre. Piano/keyboard and violin seem to be the more popular instruments among churches playing traditional worship music.
Posted by chatbox on 10-14-2018
Martin
The people in modern times are more concerned about electrical instruments which can be easily manipulated to do anything. This is contrary to what happens with harps which need one to have a lot of skill and keenness to play it excellently.
Posted by Martin on 10-16-2018
theresajane
Music is not limited to what we only know. The world is evolving and thinking that a certain instrument is only for a specific genre is a sign of being traditional. Human minds are so creative that they can do things as long as they think about it. Gifted musicians can even produce a music with just the sounds that they can hear everywhere. So, I don't think harp is for spiritual and classical music only.
Posted by theresajane on 10-14-2018
mdayrit
I don't think that an instrument is limited to a certain genre. A musician who is creative can always make his instrument fit any genre. As for the Harp, it is being typecast as an instrument for spiritual and classic music because of its calm and relaxing sound.
Posted by mdayrit on 10-14-2018
MomoStarr16
We do have the same thought about it. It is an instrument and did not needed to have a certain kind of law where it should be played. It can also use into a rock music but if you only can do that. What I mean is there is no rules for playing an instrument.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 10-15-2018
EfficientNinja
I also think the harp doesn't necessarily have to be associated with Spiritual and Classical Music. Modern songs can be played with the harp but it would give a different vibe because it sounds unique and gives a different feel to the song. It could, however, make new music sound classical because of the nature of the instrument.
Posted by EfficientNinja on 10-14-2018
NesMarcos
I know nothing about harp but I love listening to it. It gives such a very light feeling when listening to it. When I see people playing harp, I feel envious of them because their hands look so smooth, the way they play the strings make me think of wanting to join them. Needless to say, harp is such a wonderful instrument for everybody!
Posted by NesMarcos on 10-14-2018
MomoStarr16
Yes. It was a lovely instrument. That harp is what I wanted to play when I was a child. Its sounds makes me calm and fall in love to it. But now I feel like It was a boring instrument. But still They are lovely. :)
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 10-16-2018
romy_ter
I don't think so. Though harp was used before by kings and David from the bible, still this can be use for modern musics as long you know how to blend it. For me that's one of the hardest instrument to play. But I still consider it that we can use harp not just for spiritual musics - can be with any genre I think.
Posted by romy_ter on 10-15-2018
overcast
I have found that the classic music in past. And the new age music now both have different ways of the way people are checking out with the new experiments. I kind of don't like experimental music. I do think that some attempts done with both classical and the spiritual are often not that great there.
Posted by overcast on 10-15-2018
MomoStarr16
The sound of harp really feels like you are in heaven. It is so relaxing and well played in a quite place. But that doesn't mean that there is a restriction to where or not to play it. As long as you know how to play it then you are free to do so.
Posted by MomoStarr16 on 10-15-2018
stbrians
Your question is hard to grasp. Many instruments that are played have been ordained in praise of God. Psalms 150 says we praise God with all instruments available.
Posted by stbrians on 10-16-2018
Martin
The first time I actually had an exposure to the playing of the harp was when I was watching the Titanic and there were harp players on board who played on as the ship sank. It was a scene of sadness and I have related the instruments to sombreness for a long period up to now.
Posted by Martin on 10-16-2018
Kakashi2020
The harp is one very old musical instruments that has been in existence for thousands of years. It is mentioned in most religious books as well as ancient manuscripts all throughout the world. It's not used solely for religious music, as can be read in Homer's works. It's was mentioned numerous times in the story of the Trojan War. The Harp was used during celebratory occasions not just for religious music. Nowadays the harp is mainly played in classical concerts but I've also seen musicians playing modern music using the harp.
Posted by Kakashi2020 on 10-17-2018
NickJ
I don't think anyone cares much for harp music outside of a very specific setting. As for its religious connotations - I feel that's a bit overstated.
Posted by NickJ on 10-17-2018
thejoyrevolution
I didn’t know that harp is used for spiritual music only. I feel that music should be universal. In music you can express your feelings or your religous beliefs. Music could be use to convey your thoughts or emotions. Harp for me is just a musical instrument. My faith is deeper than that.
Posted by thejoyrevolution on 10-17-2018
bee.rthooyah
Any musical instrument can be used spiritually depends on the way that it is being used. The notion that harp is only for spiritual and classical is an old way of thinking. Guitars can also be a musical instruments used for worship same as any other instruments.
Posted by bee.rthooyah on 10-18-2018
Kakashi2020
The Harp can be used in both modern and classical music. It's just a very old instrument that's why it's stereotyped as a classical and religious musical instrument. But harps are being used now by some musicians in playing modern music and it sounds great.
Posted by Kakashi2020 on 10-19-2018
Marako0406
I thought that Harp produces a certain kind of sound which is more relaxing than the guitar and it can be used in in any kind or type of genre. We all know that a Harp has many strings unlike the guitar. Many artists and musicians include harp in their music as well so I agree that this instrument only played for spiritual or classical music during the early days of it but now it can be incorporated to any kind of music or genre.
Posted by Marako0406 on 10-25-2018
theresajane
I agree with you. The world is changing. Many nusically-inclined artists can incorporate harp to the genre that they want. It only takes a proper arrangement to do that.
Posted by theresajane on 11-21-2018
iambeth
I think a true artist can make use of the instrument in any genre of music. I think limiting the harp to only a certain genre does not fit anymore in this day and age. A lot of talented musician nowadays can incorporate different sounds and use different instruments in producing a unique kind of music.
Posted by iambeth on 10-27-2018
Corzhens
I guess the harp can be considered for classical music because the sound produced by the strings fit the genre. It would be silly to play the harp in a rock and roll music or worse in a hiphop music. At least when you play the harp in a classical band there is symmetry and the music that is produced by the harp is just right. But it would still depend on the musician who would be using the harp.
Posted by Corzhens on 11-03-2018
iambeth
I believe I watched from a talent competition a lady playing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody using the harp. So it definitely can't be stereotyped to a certain genre only. I hope other talents would see the potential and use it for pop music as well.
Posted by iambeth on 11-03-2018
theresajane
I agree with you. It's hard to break the stereotypes. But I hope people who are nusically-inclined can make it happen.
Posted by theresajane on 11-21-2018
Denis_P
The harp is definitely a magical instrument with a heavenly sound. Should it only be used for classical or religious music? Well, I’m not sure to be quite honest. The problem is that I feel it can be hard to integrate into other genres of music. To me at least, it often sounds out of place in different genres. If a musician is talented enough to integrate a harp into their music in a way that sounds good, then by all means go for it. But in some ways I feel like the harp was intended specifically for the classical and religious genres.
Posted by Denis_P on 11-06-2018
theresajane
I agree with you. It could be hard to intergrate it to another music. But, I always believe that music knows no boundaries. Harp can be suited in some genres and it may sound different and a breath of fresh air.
Posted by theresajane on 11-09-2018
mcnasci24
I think it is a matter of having an open mind to the possibilities of the harp in other, more subversive genres of music. For instance, one might argue that the piano should only be played in classical music, but it has been incorporated in several musical genres with incredible results. Just because the harp hasn't been as popular or as used, doesn't mean that it can't go along other instruments in another kind of musical style. It all depends on the musician.
Posted by mcnasci24 on 11-11-2018
Alymae
Harp being used by angels is never proven. No one can prove that it is used by angels and should not only be used for religious music. I believe that the harp is best suited to classical music. The music created by the harp is certainly one of my favorites. It's on the top of my list.
Posted by Alymae on 11-13-2018
luv2xacosta
It can be both spiritual or classical music. There is no evidence that angels. All of it is just a myth and i think every instruments can produce a spiritual or classical music. It depends to the musician to how to ply with it. Although harp can be hard to play because of a lot of strings and also the melody it produces is can calm one's senses. I wish I can learn to ply it one day.
Posted by luv2xacosta on 11-20-2018
JMS
The harp was probably considered a holy instrument of the angels because it is an old instrument. The earliest evidence of the harp is found in ancient Egypt around 2500 to 3000 years ago. We, of course, have all types of instruments now and the style of music that we create has changed too.

I think any instrument can be used to create any type of music. Fast or slow, melodious or monotone, it depends on the person playing the instrument.
Posted by JMS on 11-21-2018
gutzman
As far as I know, most of the instruments during the old times were created to praise God, gods or goddesses. No wonder why using harp has been controversial whether to be only used by religious ways. Anyway, the music is growing also with the time. Even other instruments were religious in origin but look on how they were use now. Music is music and so are the instruments. As long the instruments won't be use in such a disgrace way, I don't think there's something to argue about.
Posted by gutzman on 11-22-2018