Re: Harp types. Pedal, single,double or cross strung

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #88724

This decision depends on several factors: amount of money you have to spend, amount of time you have to practice, the type of music you love, and the amount of space you have in your home. Pedal harps are the largest and most expensive to buy and maintain, but they are the only choice if you want to play all the classic repertoire written for that instrument. Large lever harps can accomodate some of that repertoire, with modifications, and are considerably less expensive. There are all sorts of sizes and shapes of lever harps, and many excellent makers out there. This type is probably the most commonly found and taught. The disadvantage is that you have to flip the levers with your left hand. This makes some pieces impossible to play, if there are too many accidentals. The triple- and double-strung harps are ideally suited to early music and folk music, but they require a completely different technique than the single-strung harps. Their advantage is that you can play in any key without lever changes, and the sound is way cool!! I find it hard to focus on all those strings, but that’s just me. Wire-strung harps are played with the fingernails, so therefore require yet a different technique.