It’s unwieldy and difficult to learn but Dr Yvette Crowe of Northern Districts Veterinary Hospital in Dee Why, NSW, makes her harp sing.
“Whenever I watch an orchestra play, it’s the harp that always catches my attention. They are beautiful looking and have a silvery tone that carries over the top of the other instruments. It sounds rich and full and yet it’s so soothing. “Originally, I learnt the piano but when my teacher left to go overseas, I took the opportunity to switch to harp. “The harp is a challenging instrument to play properly. Most of the strings are clear which makes them hard to see. Just getting the instrument in tune is a time-consuming process. “The funny thing is, a harp sounds great even if it’s played badly—it’s not like the bagpipes in that regard. “I’ve never been part of an orchestra; I tend to play for my own enjoyment. I have played at funerals, weddings, Christmas celebrations and with choirs. “Transporting a harp can be a bit of an issue. My harp weighs about 36 kilograms and I use a trolley to move it around. I own a car with seats that fold down so it fits inside. I played under the Sydney Harbour Bridge once and getting down that hill was a nightmare. “There’s a beauty about the harp in both look and sound. I like to sing while I’m playing as it lets me put more of my own expression into the performance. No matter what your mood, you can explore it on the harp. You can play a nice big strong song or something sad and melancholy if that’s your mood. As with any musical instrument, you can get lost in its sound. And at the end of a hard day at work, playing the harp is a great way to come down and relax.”