Mudcat Café message #3800911 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159372   Message #3800911
Posted By: keberoxu
18-Jul-16 - 07:15 PM
Thread Name: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Subject: RE: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
This topic has developed the way that it has because it has layers, and more than one sensitive nerve is struck.

Janet Harbison's address to the first Crossroads Conference, abbreviated in previous posts, touches on perhaps two such nerves: male musicians looking down their noses at a genre associated with women; and traditional-music specialists looking askance at a genre associated more with middle-class drawing-room interiors than with public-house group music sessions.

Yet another struck nerve, I can see, is the singing of sentimental song. And how this kind of music divides people as much as it unites them. We have listeners who dodge voices and singing in general: people who honestly only turn on broadcast music stations with instrumental recordings. We have listeners who require, of singers, adherence to an exacting tradition and an unvarnished directness of technique: these listeners will listen gladly to singers of that description, and wince and cringe away from all the rest. We have listeners who favor the speaking and singing voices of men and of deep-voiced females, who stiffen and lash out at the sound of high plaintive voices whether speaking (broadcasters) or singing. So the Irish harp history is loaded in many ways, and I suspect some of this has next to nothing to do with the harp, and everything to do with singing.