Dark sounding first harp?

  • Participant
    Donna Pick on #75741

    Maybe a harp is not the instrument I need, but I’ve always had this dream of playing a small harp.

    Member
    tony-morosco on #75742

    Dark is subjective. The range of the

    Participant
    barbara-brundage on #75743

    If you are going to have lessons, I’d start by finding a teacher. Lots of teachers have harps to rent inexpensively to students and once you’ve been playing a bit you’ll have a better idea of what you want in a harp sound, and whether you even like the sound of any small harp.

    Participant
    william-weber on #75744

    A folk harp seems to be what you seek. As was observed by others, darkness is relative. Darker sound comes from a big deep soundbox.

    Participant
    Geri McQuillen on #75745

    I’m not really sure from your post how small a harp you are thinking about, but I bought a Denwar Chieftan a couple of years ago, 26 nylon strings, concert spacing.

    Participant
    sherry-lenox on #75746

    I don’t know where you are, but there’s a Troubadour at Virginia Harp Center that sounds like chocolate and plays like a dream. It isn’t small though.

    Participant
    Karen Johns on #75747

    Musicmaker’s offers their Limerick model- a 26 string lap harp- with optional low C tuning. This harp packs a lot of projection for it’s size, and in my

    Member
    tony-morosco on #75748

    Yes, I prefer (generally) the sound of gut over nylon. However I do string both my lever and pedal harp with nylon in the upper octave. Not so much because of breakage issues, but I find I get more sustain and a clearer tone with nylon on those very thin strings. But for the rest I’m gut all the way (except my electric which uses carbon strings).

    Some harps have no problem going from nylon to gut and others can’t do it. Gut produces more tension so it depends on how the harp was built. Always check with the maker to see if it is possible to switch out without danger of hurting the harp.

    As for breaking I’m not sure how much of a problem that is. I so rarely break a string no matter what type. The advantages of living in a fairly constant climate.

    Participant
    Karen Johns on #75749

    Thanks for the quick response, Tony! One more question: How far above middle C do you go with your gut strings?

    Karen

    Member
    tony-morosco on #75750

    Through the second octave E. From first octave F and up I use nylon.

    Participant
    holly-kemble on #75751

    Welcome to the wonderful world of harps and harp music! You will enjoy this ride very much.

    I also prefer darker, fuller tones. My harp is an Aberdeen Meadows from William Rees Harps in Rising Sun, Indiana. This harp has 36 strings and the low note is C two octaves below middle C. The tone is dark and rich in the lower strings without being muddy, and the upper range just sings……never with a ‘plinky’ sound. (Is ‘plinky’ a word???)

    I also *really* like the 32 string Irish harp from Craig pierpont at Another Era Lutherie in Edmonton, Kentucky. It hyas 32 strings, the lowest is the E,

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