[Harp-L] does the (dis)appearance of the harp hurt its popularity?

I've been thinking that listening to harmonica is wonderful, but watching it being played is not so fun. From an audience perspective, usually the diatonica harmonica is mostly obscured by the hands of the player, which makes for a kind of awkward performance (turn off the sound on any harmonica video and it looks like some one is gagging or coughing while covering their mouth). In rare instances, either the player's own dancing or use of hands seems to add to the non-acoustic part of the performance or some very nice film & editing help. Watching Sonny Boy (II) is pretty entertaining (to me at least): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFRMBWgyH-M
I also like the way this JJ Milteau video was shot: http://jjmilteau.artistes.universalmusic.fr/ (click on the little video camera icon on the right).

But what I'm noticing about these examples is that they are very close up so you can see what's going on. In Sonny Boy's case, he is also singing, which makes for a little more variety. Most video is either shot much farther away or if you're there live, you're not that close. Chromatic harp performances seem more interesting visually to me simply because you can usually see the harp itself. I'm not necessarily arguing for making the instrument more appealing or popular, but I'm wondering what others think of how not being able to see the instrument impacts its appeal and/or how the audience perceives it.

-Marc Molino

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