Created By: Alrune on October 29, 2010

Harp Of Femininity

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Do We Have This One?? Needs More Examples...

Want to underline just how feminine and ladylike a woman is? Make her play the harp.

Just like playing the electric guitar is often a sign of absolute manhood, the harp's crystalline and delicate tones as well as its graceful shape will exacerbate the femininity of the woman playing it. As such, harp playing women in fiction are almost always important to the plot in some way.

At a lesser extent, the lyre can also have the same function but it's less common.

This is also Truth in Television since harpists are mostly female.

Compare Feminine Women Can Cook for a more down-to-earth way of showing femininity.


Anime & Manga:

Western Animation:

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • October 30, 2010
    The Legend Of Zelda series has a few harp players- Marin from Link's Awakening is shown to play the harp in official art (though she never does so in the game itself, and never mentions that she can either). Then there's Sheik in Ocarina of Time, who turns out to be female even though she looks male. Finally, Oracle of Ages has the Harp of Ages which is normally played by Nayru, but after she's possessed by the villain, Link (who is obviously male) has to do it himself.
  • October 30, 2010
    I feel certain we have (or had proposed) a comprehensive version of this, with various instruments and what it stereotypically means when characters play them... Can't seem to find it.
  • October 30, 2010
    The Yu-gi-oh TCG has Spirit Of the Harp, a delicate woman playing the harp.

  • October 30, 2010
    Prince Edward from Final Fantasy IV. Yes, he's a man, but I think we can all agree he's anything but manly.
  • October 30, 2010
    Harpo would like to have a word squeaking horn with you about this trope.
  • October 30, 2010
    Another male example:

  • October 30, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    As a lot of heroic epics were played on a lyre by a male bard, would that be an inversion?
  • October 30, 2010
    Nah, just an Unbuilt Trope.
  • October 30, 2010
    Unbuilt? How is that? If we're strictly talking about the harp and take out the lyre, it remains built doesn't it?
  • October 31, 2010
    The Emperors New Groove Kronk's shoulder angel carried a harp, prompting his shoulder devil to mock the "sissy, stringy thing"
  • October 31, 2010
    • In Hidamari Sketch, Yuno saw Hiro planting herbs and asked what she was doing. When Hiro explained, Yuno misheard her as saying "harp" and envisioned a harp-playing Hiro. Now, Hiro is already the motherly one of the group, so the feminine qualities are already there, just enhanced in Yuno's imagination.

    Hmm, Medli's instrument (from Wind Waker) was more lyre-like, wasn't it?
  • October 31, 2010
    In Lost Odyssey, Jansen hears Ming playing her harp and guesses that the musician must be a beautiful woman: "No dude plays a harp."
  • November 7, 2010
    If no one disagrees, I'll be launching this.