C, F, and B Levers

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    linda-hamilton on #161019


    I’ve been playing harp since January. I have a Stoney End Evensong harp with sharping levers on the C, F, and B strings. That combination appears to be fairly common — I notice that the ads for other harps talk about C, F and B levers as well (the info for Flatsicles says that that lets it handle C, G, D and F and the relative minors).

    However, I’m puzzled (and this may sound silly) — I know that the key of C uses no levers and that G uses the F lever and D uses the F and C levers. But what’s the B lever do? It sharpens B, so that doesn’t seem to be the way to make a Bb needed for the key of F….



    barbara-brundage on #161020

    Hi, Linda. If you tune the B strings to B-flat in the open string, then put up the B lever when you want a B natural (like in the key of C or G), you can put the B levers down and play in the key of F (one flat).

    linda-hamilton on #161021

    Thanks! I was beginning to suspect that but wasn’t sure since so much of the books I’m learning from talked about all levers down for the key of C.

    Do levers put pressure on the strings? (I’m using Loveland levers). Should I make sure to put the levers back down when I finish practicing or when I travel?



    barbara-brundage on #161022

    Yes, it’s best to put the levers down when you’re finished practicing and very important to put them down when moving your harp, since the handles are vulnerable to getting snapped when they’re up.

    Audrey Nickel on #161023

    I keep my harp tuned in F…it’s very handy to have that extra key (a lot of hymns seem to be in F or its relative minor).

    If your harp has been tuned in C, you’ll notice that it will take a while for the B strings to be content to stay at Bb.

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