watervole: (Folk music)
It strikes me that one of the reasons I find alternative names for Jew's Harps to be mildly annoying is that names of musical instruments have a cultural context for me.

One (of many possible) derivations suggested for the name was its popularity among people like the Khazars, who were largely Jewish.  That's a link back to areas of the world where the instrument is still used.

I'd be equally irritated if Appalachian dulcimers, or Irish Harps underwent a name change.

I still can't pronounce 'bodhran' correctly (it's the drum in the icon), but I'd never want to change the name as that would be to lose the cultural context and history of the instrument.  Speaking of which, I really need to get mine out and play it more often...

Jew's Harp

Aug. 27th, 2009 07:56 pm
watervole: (Folk music - danger)
I was taking a random stroll around the web, looking up the definitions of obscure phrases and found another entry for Jew's harp.  As the definition says that they were probably sold or imported by Jews, I shall consider this a non-defamatory use of the word 'Jew' and use that name rather than the alternative 'jaw's harp'.  (I dislike it when words are changed for PC reasons without even checking to see if the usage is actually intended to be offensive.  It actually removes positive versions of words.)

Anyway, I digress.  I've never heard anyone get a decent sound out of a Jew's harp, so I took a hunt on YouTube and found this guy!


watervole: (Default)
Judith Proctor


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