Top 10 Facts About the Laser Harp

Metal_Treasure
I watched some live performances on laser harp by Jean-Michel Jarre - a French musician who is the most famous laser harp player. And I was impressed - playing laser harp looks very interesting and... dangerous. Sounds interesting, too, but it's better to watch it because it provides a very spectacular light show.
The laser harp looks so futuristic (as if it comes from a Sci-fi movie) that when it was first used, many people thought it was a fake because they couldn’t understand how it works.
All these things inspired me to make this list.

If you don't know what it is, there are some YouTube videos where you can see how it works:

Jean-Michel Jarre - The Time Machine Live (Laser Harp)
Jean Michel Jarre - Water for Life (HD) - 12/12 (laser harp part is at 3:45-6:35)
Paris La Defense (Part 6 of 10) (HQ) - Jean Michel Jarre (laser harp part is at 3:40-6:00)
Laserharp II Jean Michel Jarre

The Top Ten

1 A laser harp is an electronic musical user interface and laser lighting display invented in the 1970s A laser harp is an electronic musical user interface and laser lighting display invented in the 1970s

The laser harp is made of electronic and light components. As of today, there are many different types of laser harps. - Metal_Treasure

2 The laser harp projects many laser beams and the musician blocks (breaks) different beams with his/her hands to produce sounds The laser harp projects many laser beams and the musician blocks (breaks) different beams with his/her hands to produce sounds

As I said in the list description, many people suspected the laser harp when it was first introduced because people didn't know many details about its functioning. People thought the laser harp was a fake because for example, striking the same beam produces different notes. But laser harp also has pedals making it possible to trigger different notes with the same beam. - Metal_Treasure

3 To get the actual sound, the laser harp has to be connected to a synthesizer, sampler or computer To get the actual sound, the laser harp has to be connected to a synthesizer, sampler or computer
4 By matching the timing of the reflected beam, the instrument can determine which beam the player is blocking and sound the corresponding note By matching the timing of the reflected beam, the instrument can determine which beam the player is blocking and sound the corresponding note
5 Laser harp players usually wear protective gear (gloves and glasses) because lasers can cause skin and eye damage Laser harp players usually wear protective gear (gloves and glasses) because lasers can cause skin and eye damage

There are different versions of laser harp and some lasers are with less power - I have seen Jean-Michael Jarre and other people playing laser harps without gloves and glasses but I guess it's always good to wear protective gear. - Metal_Treasure

As a beginner laser harp player said, "Never argue with a laser harp... they bite". - Metal_Treasure

6 Jean-Michel Jarre has been playing the laser harp at his live shows since 1981 Jean-Michel Jarre has been playing the laser harp at his live shows since 1981
7 The most famous laser harp player is Jean-Michel Jarre, followed by Yan Terrien and Rune Foshaug The most famous laser harp player is Jean-Michel Jarre, followed by Yan Terrien and Rune Foshaug
8 The unframed style laser harp is also known as the ‘Infinite Beam’ - it uses a single laser, splitting its beam into an array of beams in parallel or fan arrangement The unframed style laser harp is also known as the ‘Infinite Beam’ - it uses a single laser, splitting its beam into an array of beams in parallel or fan arrangement

These fan-shaped beams look amazing at live shows because they are really very long ("infinite") - Metal_Treasure

9 In 2008 an Italian software and electronic engineer - Maurizio Carelli - invented the first portable bi-color laser harp (with red and green beams)
10 Two people claim to be the inventor of the laser harp - Geoffrey Rose and Bernard Szajner - but there are patent issues and it's still debated who actually invented it Two people claim to be the inventor of the laser harp - Geoffrey Rose and Bernard Szajner - but there are patent issues and it's still debated who actually invented it
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10 listings
11 days old

Top Remixes

1. A laser harp is an electronic musical user interface and laser lighting display invented in the 1970s
2. The laser harp projects many laser beams and the musician blocks (breaks) different beams with his/her hands to produce sounds
3. To get the actual sound, the laser harp has to be connected to a synthesizer, sampler or computer
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