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Play a beautiful, detailed harp without making the full investment with the more portable and accessible options available from the Woodwind and Brasswind. These Rees harps and harpsicles are ideal for the amateur or progressing musician. Community musicians and hobbyists can appreciate these models which are well suited for a range of musical styles including folk, Celtic, and world music. These harps are also wonderful in the realms of meditation and music therapy.
Rees harps are an established brand of harps and harpsicles and their instruments are used by major harpists throughout the world. Listen to a Rees harp on Grammy winning albums like Paul Winter’s “Celtic Solstice” and Yo-Yo Ma’s “Songs of Joy and Peace.” A family business, Rees has been building harps since 1972 and guarantees their instruments to be free from defects in workmanship. They are also committed to not using tropical rainforest woods and other woods that are near extinction. The Rees’ hallmark is an asymmetrical soundboard which produces the balanced, even tones that set their harps above the rest.
Among the most famous harpists are two French musicians: Carlos Salzedo and Marcel Grandjany. Both of these harpists studied at the Paris Conservatory under Alphonse Hasselmans and then each of them moved to America where the bulk of their careers took place. Grandjany performed in America and France from 1921-1932 before becoming the head of the harp department at The Julliard School of Music. He also taught at the Manhattan School of Music and founded the American Harp Society. His style of playing was very much in keeping with the French technique which emphasized technical skill and a more conservative style of playing. Much of the music his students played was from the 19th century and focused on the classic tradition of the instrument. He also wrote several compositions for the harp including “Children’s Hour Suite” and “Le Bon Petit Roi de Yvet.”
Carlos Salzedo’s approach to the harp was greatly influenced by his skill as a pianist. His playing technique incorporated a more curved hand and freer movements of the arms. Salzedo was firmly dedicated to modern music and this emphasis led to his students being more aware and involved with the contemporary music scene. Salzedo began as the principal harpist of the Metropolitan Opera in 1909. As an editor of the Eolian Review, a publication dedicated to new music, Salzedo was able to extend his influence in the music of his day. He composed much music for the harp and other instruments including “Suite of Eight Dances,” “Song of the Night,” and “Variations on a Theme in Ancient Style.” His playing technique earned him a reputation and his influence spread after he established the harp department at the Curtis Institute of Music and later founded the Salzedo Summer Harp Colony.
Many students today align themselves with either the Salzedo technique or the more traditional French technique of Grandjany. Beyond the influence of these two virtuosos, harps have found an integral role in contemporary music today. World music, folk music, and other genres have opened up new avenues for the harp, many of which utilize the harpsicles and smaller instruments that the Rees Company constructs. Instead of making the large investment in a full size harp, develop your skill and musicality on one of these intricate harps or harpsicles.
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