the art of playing
No two instruments are the same. No two players are identical.
As musicians we are individuals. We are expressive. We are creative.
Design in Harmony links good design to the musician based on three simple principles:
- The Aesthetic. Using form and carefully considered materials Design in Harmony brings together instrument and player as a visual entity.
- Functionality. With individuality in mind our seating is designed to suit your posture and playing style.
- Sustainability. Handmade in Scotland, Design in Harmony demonstrates quality and craftsmanship at every turn, using temperate sustainable hardwoods and where possible, British fabrics.
Time and again we end up sitting on mass produced inappropriate seating, perched at the front, swinging forward or slumped at the back. This seating often looks unattractive alongside our instrument and it often fails to suit the natural posture we want for playing.
What is the right seat for you?
You are an individual and what is right for you is what is comfortable, encourages a natural posture and allows free movement. From our experience we have found that players who like to perch on the front edge of a chair like the tilted top of the Harmony seat. Those who prefer to sit more deeply on a chair and carry their weight through their bodies, for example when operating pedals on a piano or a pedal harp, the Concerto bench is the seat for you.
Over the past 50 years much research has been done to find the optimum seated position for many activities within the work environments. In a recent research paper “The Seated Musician; Furniture Design and its Effect on Performance and Health”, author David Brothers from the College of Architecture and Design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology specifically examines the ergonomics for musicians in research that supports the tilted Harmony seat design that we have developed. In essence paper concludes that optimum posture is achieved by resting the feet flat on the floor and sitting upright to allow normal concave curvature of the back, or lumbar lordosis.
It is important that whichever seat you prefer to use you feel well supported and able to move freely on it. To quote David Brothers “It is universally agreed that a good understanding of playing posture is directly linked to exceptional instrument control and mastery. What is less understood is the influence of chair design on the ability to achieve these goals” We put good design first.
“Being a performer and tutor, I spend most of my day at the harp. Teaching and rehearsing especially I find I can be sat at the harp for hours on end and it is tough to remember to take breaks – not to mention having to sit on whatever is available. Height of the harp for playing is so important, now that I think about it it’s pretty crazy that we leave it to chance that we might be provided with a seat at an appropriate height!
In any case, long days spent at the harp has given me quite a few back problems, I used to get a very sore lower back come the end of the day. So when I met Sarah and started to hear about the benefits of the tilted stool I was really keen to try it. It took a bit of getting used to, I think because I was so used to sitting badly – I never now have a sore back at the end of the day.
I don’t have to worry about finding something at the right height I sit on because the stool was made to fit exactly my own playing position. I can’t recommend them enough – and all my students love my teaching stool now too!! Not only has it saved my back, but it looks great too! Wood that matches my harp and I was able to choose a fabric I love in my favourite colour. I love my harp stool! .”
Heather Downie – performer and tutor RCS