Good morning everyone!
I have only recently joined this website because I was looking for tips and advice for the Double-Strung.
I have always been fascinated with the harp and longed to play it : my misinformed parents have told me that it could never happen because of the prive range of the instrument (I think they had only heard about the pedal harp and got scared). Now that I am finally grown up and getting a salary, I am taking lessons and consisering investing in my first harp.
As soon as I heard of the existence of the double-strung I have fallen in love with the concept, from its portability to its wider range of possibilities. However, I am faced with multiple problems
First, I am French, from the Celtic region of Brittany, and although that predisposes me to find great Celtic harps all over the place, the Double-Strung appears to be inexistent here. I believe Mae has faced the same problem in Britain. So, in order to get myself a double-strung I would need to import it from the US, with the high price range and the troubles that go with it. The Stoney End kits seemed like a good alternative but I have been flatly – though kindly – told by Gary Stone that the kit would have to be built by a luthier and a beginner in woodwork should not try. The various testimonies on this website have convinced me of that as well (great read though!)
So I am keeping my eyes wide open and my first question here is : anyone know where one can find an affordable Double-Strung in Western Europe, and in France if possible?
Second, this is about the technique: like I said, I am a complete beginner at the harp and almost as much of one at music theory. This does not pose a problem for my teacher, but she teaches Celtic and Pedal harp and was a little disdainfull when I asked her about the double-strung. She said that the strings were quite “loose” and one could really only play Renaissance music with it. Is this true?
Furthermore, I am taking up “normal harp” lessons at the moment : however, would it be preferable that I continue like this for a few years, perhaps renting a 34 strings floor harp, and then invest in the double? Or should I start with the double as soon as possible to learn everything at once and not be in constant renewal?
Is the method and the playing so different from the simple to the double?
From what I could tell, harpists here such as Mae or Alisson played the simple celtic before building their own double, so that might be preferable.
Finally, what kind of practice would you recommed for someone looking to move to the double-strung? Am I overlooking something major here?
Thank you all!