Does anyone have a comprehensive chart or brochure, explaining all the different ways people can go in buying or renting lever and pedal harps, and comparing costs of harps and harps in relation to other instruments and cars? (I like to compare buying a harp to buying a car.) There are so many options, it is hard to explain simply. Perhaps a flow chart?
Saul, I think it would have to be pretty general, at least in the lever harps world as there are so many variations. With respect to size we might generalize that taller harps will have more sustain than shorter ones and wider boards produce more volume than narrower ones. Solid wood boards better tone than laminates over time, gut mellower than nylon, Savarez alliance in between. About the only exceptions are lever expense and weight (bubinga heavier than walnut, #5 pegs heavier than #4, don’t ask me about zither pegs). But even as I write I can think of exceptions to all of those!
Saul, I agree that any list or chart would need to be rather general. Who would have the time to find many details of those important considerations you mention? Life became so different since computers opened up answers for us all that perhaps those people who wish to learn about harp costs, types, weights, sizes, sources and so on can each search to find what they wish to know. Also, in a short time, any carefully gathered data will soon change, as new harp makers come along, as well as many new options and choices that were not available previously. Since 1959, for example, when I began collecting many printed price lists of major harp companies until 1993, prices of new harps were helping the parents of my students decide on some of the models they would purchase. I rarely look at those heavy binders of information now; everything is quite dated. A Gold Style 23 pedal harp, for example, as of January 1 1959, for $3895., is not possible, nor a Style 15 for $1995 in the same year. And parents are surely not bringing home ten times as much salary. Your points are valuable, however, because prospective harp buyers or renters must use due diligence.
Hi all: Just wanted to pipe in here and mention that the November/December 2013 issue of Harp Column included the article “Finding THE Harp,” which included charts of information for all the major makes of pedal and lever harps. We included price, number of strings, available finishes, and special features.
Rhett Barnwell was the author for the lever harp portion of the article, and Erin Wood compiled our pedal harp information.
I was about to chime in with the same information Kim! The chart in that article is definitely the most comprehensive I have seen. It is still quite current as well. I think even in a few years when the prices may be outdated it still would be useful to see side by side sizes and brands of harps and range of price.
The Harp Column’s chart sounds like a good source of information. The chart I have made has spaces to fill in the appropriate numbers. It is something like making a family tree. But I think it helps a lot, the more options there are, the more it needs sorting for ease of comparison.
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