The Modern Harp

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At the start of the seventeenth century, the fiercely Protestant Queen Elizabeth I issued a decree that all Irish harp players be hanged and their harps put to the torch.

It had more to do with politics than the actual music, but even today, its hard to imagine there’d be much of a public outcry over the loss of harp music. But there’s one musician who is single-handedly, or, I guess two-handedly, plucking away at the dismissal of harp music as little more than the background to a soap opera dream sequence. In the hands of Deborah Henson-Conant, the harp can evoke the spirit of Jimi Hendrix, or Moe Koffman or even one of the Celtic harpists subjected to the Queen’s noose.

This leather-clad warrior princess of the harp wants to overthrow the accepted order in American music, the harp.
9Hosted by Dick Gordon)


Deborah Henson-Conant, harpist, composer, and raconteur.