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history of lever harp?

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  • #102888
    Sylvia
    Participant

    I tried to find this

    #102889
    Tacye
    Participant

    They sort of came both before and after pedal harps – there were of course many sorts of harp before pedals were invented, including hook harps, which had hand operated sharpening mechanism on the neck and developed into pedal harps.

    #102890
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    I’ll call Sam Milligan and see if he can put a post up about this. But I think if you are referring to the advent of lever harps in the 20th century(as I think you are) I think the earliest version was on Clark Irish harps, which were made in Syracuse New York in the 1920’s. Where Clark got the idea I don’t know.

    The earliest modern lever harp was produced by Lyon & Healy starting in the 1950’s when Sam Pratt was head of the harp division. He was also responsible for the style 30, or Princess Louise, which originally had a square back on it. Anyway, Sam Pratt named the Lyon & Healy lever harp the Troubadour, and then, since there was absolutely no music available specifically for it, asked Sam Milligan to produce a book of tunes for it. That book was Fun From the First.

    #102891
    Tacye
    Participant

    Hmm, the view from Europe is rather different.

    #102892
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Tacye- I don’t understand your post. Could you explain it? Are you saying that all the harps you mentioned function the same way, and without levers?

    #102893
    Tacye
    Participant

    It depends on exactly how you define a ‘lever’.

    #102894
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    Yes of course I’d consider that a lever harp. I suspect that there may have been a lot of such lever harps made in the 19th Century, but that they took a back seat to the pedal harp as it became more available. There may have even been a gap when no lever harps were being built before they started up again in the 20th century.

    #102895
    Tacye
    Participant

    I don’t think there was a gap – Morley stopped building pedal harps during WW1 to concentrate on small harps and repairs and I have found references to similar small harps at the very end of the 19th C.

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