Archive for July 8th, 2009

For Beautiful Music At Low Volume, Try Harp And Flute!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

If the music for your next party needs to be elegant, but soft enough to allow normal conversational volumes, I have two words for you: “harp” and “flute.”

These two venerable instruments – descendants of the ancient lyre and reed-flute – are unsurpassed for lyrical beauty, yet audio opaqueness. (Which is simply an acoustician’s way of saying that they are “real perty” to listen to, while not musically overpowering.)

Not even the piano can match the harp for richness and softness at the same time. Those sitting at a table set 5 feet from a Steinway concert grand had better be good lip readers, because they will inevitably find that syllables uttered at normal volume can’t compete with a big fat bass note. But conversations held that same distance from a harp (or harp/flute duo) proceed without interruption.

How do these instruments manage to be soft enough for those nearby, and yet to carry their dulcet tones across a crowded room? Well, although there is a scientific explanation, I prefer to think of it as “magic.”

What else but magic could permit a centrally-located soloist or duo to be loud enough to entertain all, while at the same instant being soft enough to offend none? And what other word better describes the beautiful synergy between these two instruments?

So – if volume is a such a major issue at your next event that you think only a magician could solve your problem – then this is your lucky day! There is probably a purveyor of magic nearer to you than you may think.