Pop’Harpe : the association

A solid team and a unifying project

Pop’harpe first came into existence in 2010 in France, in Ivry-sur-Seine near Paris, around an original project led by the music conservatoire harp teacher and some parents.

Being a non-profit association, Pop’Harpe‘s aim is to make the practice of the harp easier to reach for everyone, especially through the original models of cardboard harps.

In a few years’ time, the Pop’Harpe project grew up and now it overpasses the mere process of instrument making: it’s a way of thinking, a comprehensive pedagogical approach, a movement, but is it also an active network of exchange and mutual aid among musicians from all levels and horizons, named “Harpistes Solidaires” (“United Harpists”), led by a dynamic association which counts up to nearly 300 members, of whom twenty-or-so are active members.

Pop’Harpe intervenes throughout the whole French territory, and more and more often abroad too, for specific projects.
Membership here


Donate here

Excerpts from the association’s statutes


The association aims to:

  • support the innovation of low-cost instruments, affordable by everyone, and expand the practice and the harp-making thanks to cardboard popharps and ancient harps;
  • promote a relationship with music based on simplicity, experimentation, exchange and creation;
  • develop collaborative pedagogical projects allowing the appropriation of musical languages and the understanding of instrumental craftsmanship;
  • develop artistic projects.

These objective are to be reached through:

  • organizing continuing education training courses;
  • organizing harp-making training courses and assembling workshops;
  • organizing musical practice training courses;
  • producing musical instrument in kit form;
  • collaborating with schools, integration institutes and research centers;
  • developing musical creation;
  • developing amateur ensemble musical practice;
  • publishing pedagogical repertoire;
  • participating in competitions, concerts and other events and public shows;
  • any other kind of service or object contributing to the achievement of the association’s aims.

The assocation’s board

Graciela Lacoste, President

It is as a parent that Graciela joined up the Pop’Harpe adventure in 2016. She has been contaminated by the passion and energy of Véronique, her son’s harp teacher, and Pascal, who offered an instrument, usually expensive, at an affordable price, and which light weight associated to an astounding sound made it particularly interesting. Being herself an amateur violinist loving to bring her instrument everywhere, Graciela was obviously thrilled that her son could bring his harp around too.

“I engaged in the association Pop’Harpe because I wanted to experience along the project of sharing, exchanging and making inspiring encounters!”

Elizabeth Cherquefosse-Gallou, Vice President

Harpist, First Prize of the Conservatoire National de Paris, classical harp teacher, Elizabeth commits to education in the music conservatoires of Sucy-en-Brie and Roissy-en-Brie where she has been teaching for the last 30 years. She wrote a harp book La magie de la harpe et le monde des lutins (ed. Billaudot, 2013).

In an ongoing effort to renew and to enrich her pedagogy, Elizabeth multiplies her meetings with harpist partners, and discovers the association Pop’Harpe and its cardboard popharps in 2016. The idea of this light harp, easily portable, along with its very surprising sound and its price defying all competition, opens up new horizons for a broadened pedagogy. Since then, she embraces the association’s project and is actively involved.

Christian Mille, Treasurer

Christian Mille is currently the treasurer of Pop’Harpe which budget grows faster and faster at the same pace as the success and the renown of these “cardboard popharps”.

As an amateur flutist, Christian knows all the benefits musical practice provides for everyone. Naturally, he is enchanted by the notion of an easy financial access for an instrument such as the harp: the cost is not an obstacle anymore to start the harp!

Christian Mille used to work in the field of business strategy as a consultant and as a teacher. Almost retired in the present, he is still an active member of a young businesses support association, but he is also quite involved in “Bibliothèques sans Frontières” (Libraries Without Borders) and in Pop’Harpe indeed.

Joëlle Le Liepvre, Vice Treasurer

After having studied the piano and the classical guitar, Joëlle, school teacher, discovered the harp which she studied with Odette Le Dentu.

In 2016, Joëlle discovers Pop’Harpe and the instruments conceived by Pascal Bernard and Véronique Musson-Gonneaud and she gets involved in the association, with which she shares and supports the same values, the solidarity projects in particular. Since then, she gets enriched by fascinating encounters, everywhere she goes.

Joëlle made two cardboard harps during the Festival des Savoirs et des Arts organized by ATD Quart Monde in Poligny (Jura, France), and since then she offers musical entertainment with these harps. Joëlle, as a volunteer, also supervises the courses having a solidarity vocation, especially with women and men in social rehabilitation.

Natacha Nohilé, Secretary

Amateur harpist, Natacha started playing music as an adult. She discovered the cardboard popharps during a conversation with a professional harpist. Invited to a meeting of the association, she was seduced by the creative atmosphere that reigned and she joined up in 2013.


 The initiators

Véronique Musson-Gonneaud, artistic and educational direction

Initiator of the project, Véronique is one the founding members of Pop’Harpe in 2010.

In doing so, she develops innovative models of cardboard harps along with Pascal Bernard. Her deep knowledge of the different types of ancient harps, of their story and use, led her to conceive these harps of rudimentary appearance and making, but based on a complex theory about strings plane calculation.

She looked for providing this harp with the same musical possibilities as the 15th century harps along with the will to offer it at a moderate price, to ensure that it is as widely affordable as possible.

Harpist, teacher and concertist, Véronique is also one of the pioneers of the rediscovery of the ancient harps in France since the mid 1990s. She graduated from the CNSM of Lyon in early music, and she studied at the Scuola Civica in Milano. In 2010, her first solo album dedicated to the works of Antonio de Cabezon on the double harp was acclaimed by critics.

Artistic Teaching Professor, she teaches at the music Conservatoires of Ivry-sur-Seine and Palaiseau, as well as at the Paris Medieval Music Center. She is also a professor of specialized didactics in harp at the Pôle Supérieur of Aubervilliers-La Courneuve.

Pascal Bernard, technical direction

As the founding member of Pop’Harpe, Pascal Bernard is the association’s soul!

Carpenter, master craftsman, teacher in a vocational school, he keeps recalling the strong values which he believes in: collaboration, exchange, friendship, the art of knowing to take risks and to question one’s own certainties.

However, Pascal is neither an instrument maker nor a musician; but this is probably the reason why, with so much benevolence, he uses his extraordinary technical skills in the service of his partners’ musical follies…

Thus, he offers new insights to the comprehension of the harp-making process, and of the harp’s sound phenomena.

Both his technical mastery of assemblies ans his creativity allowed him to come to a simplicity of radical execution in cardboard harp-making, which manufacturing cost becomes thus as moderate as possible while preserving the sound quality of the instrument.

Craftsman, apprenticeship master, workshop manager in several companies in France and abroad, Pascal Bernard taught in vocational schools as well as at the École Spéciale d’Architecture (Special School of Architecture) in Paris.

He also participated in the supervision of an international construction site in the Hautes-Alpes (France), particularly intended for the social integration of young people from Marseille’s neighborhoods, but also for exchanges between different people: young foreigners, manual workers, educators, disabled, teachers, students or high school students.

Véronique Musson-Gonneaud and Pascal Bernard were awarded the Prime Minister’s prize at the 115th Lépine International Paris-2016 Competition for their cardboard harp model named « popharpe ».

Les trainers

Alina Traine, trainer

Trained by Christine Icard, Oscar Rodriguez do Campo and Lucrecia Jancsa, Alina Traine graduated from the National Arts University (UNA) in Argentina with a harp degree with “summa cum laude” distinction. She also got a Diplôme de Perfectionnement (Excellence et Virtuosité) – a diploma allowing to access a Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse – from the music conservatoire of Rueil-Malmaison. She was a scholarship holder from the “Fundación Teatro Colón”, the Argentinean Mozarteum as well as the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris. She is the recipient of the “Concurso de Arpistas latinoamericanos” in Brazil (First Prizes). She performed several concertos with orchestra (Debussy, Mozart, Haendel) and created “Música Nocturna” by Alex Nante for solo harp and ensemble.

Particularly invested in orchestral practice and chamber music, she studies at the Orchestral Academy of Teatro Colón and she is soloist of several youth orchestras, including the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival Academy. She is the harpist of the Ensemble Écoute and of the Awkas Ensemble, and she is involved in contemporary creation and the interpretation of the 20th and 21st centuries repertoire. She participates in the 2017 session of the ensemble Voix Nouvelles in Royaumont and is to be part of the orchestra of the Lucerne Festival Academy during the summer 2018.

She teaches the harp at the music Conservatoire of Chennevières-sur-Marne.

Claire Duchateau-Malzac, trainer

Claire studied the harp with Christophe Truant, Anne Le Roy, Fabrice Pierre, Frédérique Cambreling and graduated from the CRR of Lyon and the Pôle Supérieur (ESMD) Nord-de-France in classical harp in 2012. She also got a Bachelor’s Degree in Musicology from the Université Lumière Lyon 2. Passionate about traditional music, she plays the qanun after a course in oriental and Mediterranean musics taken at the ENM of Villeurbanne with Marc Loopuyt, and the arpa llanera with Gabril Castillo.

Claire is the co-founder of a circus company. She regularly works with theater companies, mime artists, dancers, and she participates in tours and recording sessions in contemporary music (Wax Taylor, Cat’s Eyes, Vanina De Franco. Her “young audience” shows are supported by different French departments and the DRAC, and they were awarded with grants (Malakoff Médéric, Hôpitaux de Paris).

Holder of the State Diploma, she teaches the harp at the CRC of Aix-les-Bains.

Our partners

The ESAT (medico-social structures training and employing people with mental disabilities that are sometimes severe) of Saint-Rémy-Les-Chevreuses helps us to prepare the equipment for the production courses. A project of harpcover-making is also underway! (to be continued…)

The music Conservatoire of Ivry-sur-Seine and his director, Jean-Michel Berrette, are supporting us and welcoming us in their premises since 2010!

The PopHarpeTrio

Born from the will to build an ensemble repertoire for cardboard harps, the PopHarpeTrio is an audacious, eclectic and ambitious ensemble for these tiny instruments which (almost) don’t look like much…

It is composed of three fellow and complementary harpists coming from different musical horizons: Alina Traine, Véronique Musson-Gonneaud and Claire Duchateau-Malzac.

Their repertoire is made of creations, adaptations and arrangements of all styles.. Including, renaissance music (Cipriano de Rore, Thomas Morley…), baroque (Vivaldi), contemporary creations (Hélène Brescahnd, Damien Charron, Alex Nante, Sébastien Béranger), traditional musics…