Choosing A Harp

Posted In: Young Harpists

  • Participant
    unknown-user on #166642

    Do people buy a harp for the sound or popularity?

    Participant
    unknown-user on #166643

    The sound is the most important reason, followed by its appearance and
    quality of workmanship, which is hopefully reflected in its reputation.
    Measuring the sound can be tricky. I think responsiveness to any kind
    of touch is important. I think a harp should have some kind of warmth
    to it, and be even in character from top to bottom–no changes of
    register like a voice or other instruments–all one voice. Then
    consider price and availability. Some harps have become popular, but
    it’s not based on real quality, it seems, but other more shallow
    reasons, perhaps appearance, price, ease of purchase and newness, or
    just lower price. Harps are also individual, and you can find gems and
    clinkers anywhere. Make sure the materials used are acceptable. Harps
    should be made of wood, traditionally speaking, with metal mechanism.
    In America, spruce and maple are the best because they are rich and
    strong, and bright and warm. Also consider how long you want it to last
    and if you are going to be professional. If you are going to be
    professional or hope to be, you need an elegant instrument of beautiful
    design and sound, and sturdy manufacture. If you are a student who will
    only play at home, you have a wider range of choices. If you are going
    to study, but maybe not play when you are adult, then you can buy any
    harp pretty much. Some require more maintenance than others. Talking to
    a technician or a very experienced professional (offer to pay for their
    time) is a good way to know about different brands, models and so on.
    The sales people can guide you to the right size and match what you
    decide you want with what is available.

    Member
    Clara Wang on #166644

    Also, it helps if you have someone there with you. If after you try playing all the harps, and you still can’t decide, move away from the harps, and have the other person play it. Sometimes you should be able to notice a substantial difference in tone quality.

    Participant
    Helen-ELizabeth Naylor on #166645

    Never by a harp just becuase it has a certain brand name on it – all is not always what it seems particularly with big name brands.

    Every harp is different – always take your teacher with you to

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