43 string harps?

  • Participant
    Liz on #77532

    Im a newbie to harp (pedal harp)
    i know that typically harp has 46-47 strings. for someone looking for a first pedal harp, is a 43 string harp in good condition a good buy? The price is a lot cheaper, but is it bad to have less strings?
    are the proportions different from 43 string pedal harps to 47 string? what is the difference in range?
    thank you so much

    Participant
    Tacye on #77533

    Smaller pedal harps can be very good for a few years, or indeed for ever depending on the music you play. Which maker are you looking at? I can’t immediately think of a modern maker who does 43 strings (though I can think of 40, 41, 42 and 44 string models) and if you are looking to buy an antique that will need its own consideration aside from just the number of strings.

    Participant
    Liz on #77534

    a wurlitzer 43 string harp. it was given full repairs a few years ago

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #77535

    If the harp is in good condition then you should give it serious consideration. A lot depends on your own height as well as what you want to do with it. I sell a lot of used pedal harps on my web site, wwww.swansonharp.com, and many of the people looking for, and buying smaller harps are professionals who want it as a gig harp for weddings and background music, because it’s easy to move, looks good, and has enough range for what they will be playing on it.

    Participant
    jessica-wolff on #77536

    I just love those smaller harps.

    Participant
    leon-ducommun-dit-verron on #77537

    I personally think older harps look prettier than new ones!!

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #77538

    Elzbieta, for the last 30 years I have used my 43-string gold Lyon and Healy pedal harp, model 14, 56 pounds heavy and serial no. 3965, upstairs (6 steps down to ground level and the car from front door) for most of my practicing and for all playing engagements. String range is 7th E from the bottom string, to 1st E at the very top. In the daylight basement studio down a flight of 8 steps from ground level, is always my larger pedal harp that I never use outside the house, weighing almost 80 pounds, that I use for teaching while I sit beside the student at the Troubadour 4 model Lyon and Healy lever harp. Our positions are reversed if the student has a lever harp at home. Both these harps were bought used and I am so glad I found these as I grow older and the weight of an instrument becomes more important. The tone of each is very resonant, and the string spacing is nearly exactly the same, to a milimeter or so. All my repertoire for outside engagements can be handled easily on the smaller pedal harp, suggesting that you could be content with 43 strings unless playing in an orchestra.

    Participant
    Alison on #77539

    you will find you are probably missing 2 at the top (0th G+F) and 2 at the bottom (7th D+C) so it’s no big deal, they are probably needed once or twice a year as perhaps for a glissando from the top, or bottom notes in an octave/chord… so even if you are a regular orchestral player hardly at all and for solo, maybe in few advanced pieces (Flothius). – but let’s not try to cite everything !!

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