Camac Bardic 27 as first harp?

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    wil-weten on #218920

    Hi Sarva, the good news is that you are not restricted to European choices, though the bad news is that harps from the US will cost you a lot more than when you lived in the US.

    As to harpsicles: there are several places where you could buy harpsicles in Europe, but frankly, here in Europe other harps would give you a lot more bang for your buck. And besides, the harpsicle strings are rather floppy.

    As to a European budget harp, I already mentioned the German harp teacher and harp builder Manfred Gosewinkel at: You could have a 33 string harp with two full octaves below middle C for 650 euros. These are no nonsense harps with a relatively low string tension. According to several German harp players, these are fine harps if you don’t mind them not being lacquered and that you see glue traces etc. There are no levers on them, but simple hooks for the chromatic notes. The builder says this is what enables him to sell them so cheap. If you don’t like the harp, you could send it back. No idea about shipping costs, though. You could inquire.

    Instead of a 33 string Gosewinkel harp, you could choose for a real travel harp with a whole octave below middle C for just 380 euros or a harp going as low as 1.5 octave below middle C for 480 euro. Yes, these are very nice prices. Yet, you probably would like the sound of the largest harp best.

    Personally, I would rent a 34 string Camac harp and buy it when I’d had saved enough money. As it is the time of summer holidays, you may be lucky that you could choose from several second hand harps in the Camac shop.

    And yes, the Camac bardic is sturdily built and has a surprising big sound for its dimensions.

    It’s great you will be going to a Camac shop! You will hear how different one model sounds from another and how the kind of strings used and light or string tension make a lot of difference in the way a harp sounds. Have fun!

    As to the Latin American teacher: everything depends on the technique she learnt herself. Latin American harps have a very low string tension and quite a different sound from celtic and other lever harps. Playing very low tension harps requires using a bit of different technique than harps with a bit higher string tension. Of course, you could ask what kind of harps she owns and/or what harp education she got.

    emma-graham on #218921

    It’s great you can visit the Camac shop. The bardic harp is a good harp to start on if you can’t stretch financially to a 34 string model. There are lots of pieces written than work well on it. Check out Lauren Scott on YouTube. The comments on this video might be of interest to you.

    If the teacher plays with Latin American technique then that is quite different and may not be what you are looking for. It would possibly require a different type of harp altogether, although There are certainly harpists who play both styles so she may be one of them.
    I can recommend a very good online course which might be a good way to start. It is run by Shelley Fairplay who is a Welsh harpist. I’m not sure when the next session starts but Shelley is lovely and I’m sure if you contacted her she would be happy to help. More information here.
    There is also a quite long video about the course here.

    Biagio on #218922

    I apologize Sarva, if it is any consolation many people think I am female too ha ha. Add my voice to what Wil and Emma have recently posted in some detail about the Harpsicles (OK but not too great to learn on) and Latin American harps and technique (very different).

    As an aside: Wil, it does make sense to me, now that I think about it, that American made harps in Europe would be fully levered – probably not worth it to try selling only partially levered Dustys (grin). I should have considered that at first. Buying a kit from Musicmakers would probably not be a great saving either and he would have t put it together and mount any levers, so I did not suggest that.

    I don’t know anything about Manfred Goosewinkel’s harps but if Wil has tested them I would take her word that they are OK; she knows what she is talking about. Two things though would give me pause: the sharping devices (“hooks” aka “blades”) and what Wil wrote about the finish.

    Blades have been superseded by more advanced levers but are still used sometimes when the objective is just an easy way to set a key in advance. Nothing wrong with that, but they are very hard to flip in the middle of a piece for accidentals. So you mostly find them on modern wire harps where levers could kink the metal strings. I have them on one of my wire harps, for instance.

    The finish reinforces the observation that Manfred makes these mostly for his own students. No problem again there – I once knocked out a half dozen double strungs for student rentals at a retreat and did not worry too much about the finish; and later sold them at only a little over construction cost. But it does say to me that they are pretty basic although probably structurally sound.

    Best wishes and do let us know how your visit to the Camac dealer turns out!

    wil-weten on #218923

    I wrote a post several hours ago, but is has dissappeared. I do hope it still reached Biago and Sarva by mail. This automatic ‘spam removal’ still doesn’t work properly. It looks like that when several posts are posted within a certain time, some of these posts will be removed as possible spam…

    Evolène on #218942

    I, too, wrote a rather long answer yesterday that has been deleted…

    wil-weten on #218943

    This annoying evaporating of thoughtful posts made by active members of this community needs to be brought to the attention of the staff of They really have to do something about the algorithm causing this unwanted behavior.

    I found a subforum: but can’t find where I can start a thread. It looks like I can only reply to threads started by others.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  wil-weten.

    Evolène on #218951

    At the bottom of the page, you should be able to create a new topic, kind of like a new answer on this page (there’s “topic title”, then a box for your post).

    wil-weten on #218953

    Thanks, Evolène.
    I just created a thread at: in the hope that this annoying problem will soon get solved.

    Sarva on #218964

    No answers arrived to my email 🙁 and I really need your feedback guys! What a pity!!

    I’ll keep you informed about the visit to the shop and so in a couple of days;)

    Sarva on #218965

    Also there seems to be no edit function and I can’t see any links you guys posted along the whole thread

    wil-weten on #219011

    And again a post of mine dissappeared! It contained a reaction to Sarva’s last posting…
    Did it make it to your mail? Or did it dissappear completely?

    wil-weten on #219012

    Hi Sarva, you may like to become a member of the free and well-moderated mailing yahoo-group Virtual Harpcircle. You can find it at:
    Yahoo groups sometimes suffer technical glitches, but most of the time, they work fine.

    Another possibility would be to join the free and well-moderated public webforum Viva Harp at:
    It has been rather quiet out there, but this might change if this annoying problem of evaporating posts doesn’t get sorted out.

    balfour-knight on #219049

    Hello, all! This has been a great thread, even though big hunks of it have apparently disappeared, ha, ha! Sarva, I am really looking forward to hearing about your visit to the Camac shop in Madrid. Their Festival last November here in the USA was just wonderful. I had a chance to play all their different harps at the extensive exhibit, lever harps, and pedal harps much too expensive for me to afford, ha, ha! I personally own a Dusty FH36S in cherry wood that is the nicest lever harp ever built, in my humble opinion, that has beautiful Camac levers on every string, one of the harp’s nicest features. I thanked Jakez Francois personally for letting Dusty and other harp makers use Camac levers–they are the best, in my opinion. (Sarva, I am a professional harpist, both lever and pedal.)

    If not for my FH36S, I would have loved to have an Excalibur like my friend Josh Layne recently purchased. But their smaller harps were very nice to play, also. So, I am looking forward to what you find as your very first harp, Sarva. Wishing you all the best and much luck!

    Cheers to you all,

    Sarva on #219054

    Well guys I just arrived home and my living room has a new piece hehe
    There were only 2 bardics left in the country and I’m the proud owner of one of those!

    It was so cool to visit the shop and see all those beautiful crafted harps. Since neither the seller nor me can play harp, I wasn’t able to get a full review of what was I about to buy.
    Fortunately, a teacher which was looking for another bardic came and was gentle enough to play both harps so I could hear how both did sound like.
    As you see I finally decided going bardic 27 over renting a more stringed harp.

    It’s beautiful,sounds nice and I’ve been trying to get the first notes of Brian Boru’s March!

    The seller also told me that he knows some teachers relatively close to me so I’m really hyped and willing to start this path

    It’s so sad I can’t read your messages. I don’t know what going wrong with this forum since I can’t either see any f the websites you linked. Looks like some nasty antispam protection…
    Btw, is it there any telegram group?

    Thanks for your kind words! As you can see I’ve already bought that one and I really want to start the harp study and practice!
    I’ve decided the bardic over bigger ones due to the mobility and price factors

    Tanya Hill on #219058


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