Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Tracy Barlow wedding tips: 5 good reasons to fire your harpist

please note this post makes reference to the Nov 3 episode on CBC in Canada

There is no better expert on weddings (four and counting) than Tracy Barlow. That's why we're happy to share another in Tracy's wedding planning tips: five good reasons to fire your harpist*. If you're planning to have a harpist at your wedding, you'll want to keep this guide handy because, besides saying 'I do' or 'let's have it off in the cloakroom', this could be the most important decision on your big day.

5 reasons to fire your harpist before the wedding

1. Dowdy outfit: (should be more like Kylie Minogue and less like Susan Boyle). Obviously! It's a glam wedding not a ballet staged for the Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg. Duh!

2. Unacceptable technique: I realize that some harpists favour the Attl technique after Kajetan Attl, in which only the uppermost parts of the fingers move and the hand is largely still. But Rob and I prefer the St. Petersburg school in which the thumbs are moved in a circular fashion rather than in and out toward the hand. So, nothing personal but, hey, you're fired. Deal with it!

3. Insufficient taning. If we wanted a pale, anemic harpist, we would have hired Lorenna McKennitt or Bjork. Get over yourself and get a spray tan! We want the guest punters to get an eyeful, and as well as an earful.

4. Lack of tension on strings. The tension of the strings on the sound board is roughly equal to 2,000 pounds. Rob measured your strings (using a cheap, stolen device from our tat shop) at only 1850 pounds! Do you think we're stupid? Sling your hook (and harp).

5. Inadequate musical selection. You keep trying to fob us off on harp cadenzas, most notably the Variation de la Reine du jour from the ballet La Nuit et le Jour, when we specifically asked for something from Oasis, the Cult, the Smiths or, at the very least, Boogie nights by Heatwave. Goodbye!

* please note these reasons do not constitute just cause and will not hold up in a court of law or during a musicians' union grievance hearing.


  1. No doubt Tracy will find a lot to harp about in the coming episodes....

  2. Thanks for the comment. I would say, now that the wedding is over, that you are right. Looks like she has plenty to harp about. All the best.