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cross strung (chromatic) harps

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  • #71698
    deb-l
    Participant

    Unless I miraculously develop my ability to lever flip like Sarah Mullen, I will be looking for a harp that will help me handle accidentals better.

    #71699
    katerina
    Participant

    Deb,

    I play baroque triple, also tried Spanish cross-strung harp, copy of 17th century source. I’m not sure if you are talking of modern or historical ones, but will give you a word about historical.

    Crosses are funny. They are a bit strange to play, ’cause you should play wery close to where the strings are crossing and pluck the semitones between the strings – a bit further in and higher/lower, depends on which hand/which side. Here I find my triple more convinient… but not for Spanish music: Spanish Arpa Doblada allows to do quick stops of sustain and guitar imitation effects. Basicly, it was born to be a big perfect “guitar”.

    The tension on multi-row harps should be much less, otherwise they just won’t sound well (soundboard overtensed) – if you are lucky. If you not, they will just explode.

    On all early harps I know the maximum bass is down to GGG. That is quite a bit less than normal pedal harp, and the tops are less as well.

    #71700
    Sarah Mullen
    Participant

    First of all, Thanks Deb!

    #71701
    martha woods
    Participant

    Deb, you’re missing one structural advantage to a cross strung – the pull on either side of the harmonic curve is almost equalized. So many pedal, lever and triple harps eventually fail because of the pull on the one side.

    I was originally going to learn lever harp first and then cross strung but when a Blessley Orion (61 string) became available I couldn’t resist it, so I am learning both harps together. I also do not want to flip levers.

    #71702
    william-weber
    Participant

    Blevins also has a line of five or six cross-strung harps (their names all begin with “X”) in a range of sizes. For most of them a sound file is available so you can hear them in advance. They have one of Gothic style in stock with free shipping and case, for about $2300. Its range starts at F below Tenor C.

    (There’s a cheapo out there, too. If you get one of those, order replacement strings, too, so you can restring it immediately. If it breaks down, they’ll replace it no charge if you send them photos of the failure. )

    #71703
    deb-l
    Participant

    thanks for all the info.

    #71704
    michael-rockowitz
    Participant

    I attend a harp meetup group, to which I bring my 5/7 Blevins Xythia cross-strung.

    #71705
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Enjoy these wonderful clips, you’ll get an idea of the potential of the cross-strung harp:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUfkK-wpQY0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UbkVA50ylI&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

    #71706
    unknown-user
    Participant

    Oh, and this one, the Bach Preludio III:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUG7CLVKsTg

    #71707
    Sarah Mullen
    Participant

    Anybody here play one of the Mountain Glen cross-strung harps?

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