Edinburgh international harp festival

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    Is anyone of you going to this festival? it`s from the 30th of march to the 4th of April.

    I`m really thinking about going there, mostly for trying all the harps I can, so maybe I can finally choose the one to buy…

    I`ve read in the website that the place is 15minutes from the airport, so it should be an easy place to reach

    here`s the list of the Exhibitors:


    Alaw Music Publishing

    Ardival Harps

    Ardival Harps

    Creighton’s Collection

    Early Gaelic Harp

    Pete Grassby, The Melodeon Repairer

    Jack Hayward Insurance

    Holywell Music Limited

    Clive Morley Harps

    Mark Norris Harps

    Michael Parfett Conservation Studios

    Pilgrim Harps

    Salopian Strings

    Salvi Harps Limited

    Frank Sievert

    Silver Spear, Harps and Dulcimers

    Starfish Designs (Scotland) Limited

    Telynau Teifi Harps

    Telynau Vining Harps

    So I suppose there will be LOTS of harp to try!! πŸ™‚

    I don`t know how many days I`m going to stay, maybe just 2.

    Anyone from UK is coming? (I`m from Cambridge)



    I am from San Francisco and am going.


    Thank you Sharon,

    I will go for trying harps rather than classes and training, because I will not bring my harp.

    I`ve already written email to most of the Exhibitors asking for their exhibition times, but I haven`t received any reply so far.

    Can you confirm that during Saturday there will be lots of harp to try? or it`s best to go on Sunday?

    Thank you



    I’ll be there for at least some of it.


    Just seen your question about the exhibitors- they will all be there Saturday and Sunday- most stay on until Wednesday, but a few of the smaller ones leave after the weekend.


    Saturday or Sunday will be about the same.


    well, we`re almost there!

    I will try the harps all the day πŸ˜€ and I`ll try to make some photos to share when I get back


    That was awesome, I tried sooooooo many harps, and I`ve done the crazy thing to buy one! my first harp, I`m so excited.

    By the way, I`d like to share mu thoughts about the event (and please bear with me because I`m not good at explaining the feelings an harp give):

    1: Tacye is a very good harpist! πŸ˜€

    2: Thoughts about the Hearthland harps:

    I think the infinity or the legend may be good as a second harp…but not at that price.

    I`m still absolutely NOT an expert, but the sound was sooo inferior to the wood one.

    It was near all the Dusty Strings harp, and when someone was playing a wood one, the legend-infinity were not audible at all.

    I didn`t liked the sound very much , and I was ashamed because I really wanted one of those harps.

    I didn`t had any problem about the weight and stability, it fits to the ground pretty well.

    In UK the infinity is priced 6000Β£…from my point of view is worth no more than Β£2000

    3: Salvi harps

    Well, the ladies were not really helpful, it seemed that they were just waiting for someone go there and say “I`ll buy one!” πŸ˜€

    The Egan: It felt “perfect”, I mean, the sound was really really clear, rich, perfect resonance, nothing wrong but I prefer harps with more “personality”, with a more particular sound, and the Egan was just too perfect.

    Livia: That was my preferred one! if you have a limited budget and you want a lever harp I suggest to try that one! I really liked it, beautiful sound

    Donegal: That was also very good, but I couldn`t try it very well, because it was slightly out of tune (for two days, but as I said the ladies didn`t seems to care too much about the harps :/ )

    Ana: beautiful! but it`s really big, it looks like a pedal harp!

    One thing I didn`t liked in all of the Salvi harps were the last octave on top, I didnt asked but I think the strings were different? metal ones maybe? because they sounded kinda different…and I didn`t liked that

    4: Starfish Design

    I expected too much, I was a bit disappointed, but it was a disappointment like the one for the Egan, really good harps but I was searching for a different sound.

    Well, at the same price I would have chosen the Egan instead the mamore.

    5: Lyon&healy

    I just tried the Troubadour VI; not bad but the strings were sooo hard, you really have to squeeze them hard to make the sound coming out, but the tension of the strings was really too much for me.

    6: Mark Nottis

    He have a new set of 36strings harp, I was not really attracted, but I heard some “pro” playing and it sounded pretty nice, but still not as good (for me) as the ones I mentioned before

    7: Silver Spear

    That was my personal surprise! I really liked the FINLAGGAN 34, please give it a try if some day you have the chance, and the man that was standing there was really helpful and kind

    8: Frank Silvert & Telynau Telfi:

    Well, their harps sounded really “different” from the others, I don`t know how to explain that, but I didn`t liked them too much

    9: Dusty strings

    Here`s the winner! eheh

    The FH34 and FH36 are amazing!! the best harps I`ve ever heard, and I didn`t expected the different wood to make such a difference!there were various FH 34 and FH36 but made with different woods, and they sounded really different, but in the end the 36 sounded a lot better than the 34 for me.

    If you really want to go for a 34, I strongly suggest the one in KOA wood (a wood from Hawaii, they said), sounded much better than the one in maple.

    But the FH36 are astonishing, each one has a beautiful and particular sound, they had much more personality than the Salvi ones, the sound was soooo beautiful, I tried them for hours (really!) and thank god Morley harps was sooo helpful and kind to let me try everything and explain all sort of stuff.

    In the end I was undecided betweeen the FH36 S in Bubinga or the FH36 S in Curly Maple… the difference in price was pretty high (like 1k), but in the end I went for the Bubinga one, the sound was much more resonating, also in the high and small strings.

    So yeah, I will receive my harps in the next weeks, my first bought harp…I never spent so much in my entire 24 years of life πŸ˜€

    Thank you for reading till the end πŸ˜›



    That was fun to read. It always astonishes me how differently our ears work/and tastes are from one another. Congratulations on your beautiful bubinga Dusty. I played one once, and I really really loved it, while at the same time, at the AHS Conference in ’08 here I played a bunch of them and really was not impressed. The bubinga was hugely better in my opinion. I would never have walked away from the Salvi Ana. That’s the sound I particularly love…..but then I’m a pedal harpist, and to me that’s the sound and feel I go for.

    Norris harps intrigue me. They are beautiful and have the most clever levers. I always wanted to try one, but as they are in Scotland, and I am here in the states, I doubt that will happen unless I run into one around here somewhere.




    I agree with Briggsie – that was fun to read.


    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the many harps you tried. I think your choice of a Dusty Strings FH36 is stellar! They are wonderful harps made by wonderful people! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Salvi I didn’t like. The Anna is my favorite but I have a L&H Prelude that I love which is very similar. I’m seriously considering an FH36 in Koa which will complement the Prelude I think. Sometimes I like different sounds for different music. The Prelude is not very portable so it will be nice to have one that is. Let us know when your harp arrives! Also curious about any workshops you may have attended.


    Where are you?


    unfortunately I didn`t attended any workshop, I`ve really been all the day trying harps! and I felt a bit strange…I`ve never spent so much for something in my life until now, so I was really worried about my choice, I was always trying and retrying the same harps, going out to think, reviewing the papers with all the spec of the harps, listening to other players…but I`ve seen people buying harps without any worries, like they were buying a candy, I was so surprised! eheh

    There was no FH36 in Koa at the dusty string stand, but the FH34 in KOA was the best of all the F34, so the FH36 must be amazing too! πŸ™‚

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