lever harp vs. pedal harp

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    barbara-brundage on #145078

    Okay, I see, but I personally don’t feel inclined to lug a huge instrument around just to keep up the profit margin at L&H. Each to his own.

    >the same is true for lever harps,

    Actually, this it isn’t, really. Most lever harp makers are very small shops, just one guy and his assistant, and they don’t aspire to international corporate status.

    Victor Ortega on #145079

    But Barbara, pedal harps don’t have to be huge.

    barbara-brundage on #145080

    Yes, but you are comparing apples and oranges. The fixed costs for tooling up for a lever harp maker are infinitesimal compared to that of gearing up to make pedal harps (I’m sure Carl can weigh in here), and lever harp makers mostly only make however many harps they feel like making. I don’t see this as a useful comparison at all, really, Victor. There’s a huge difference between something you can do, and do well, in your own garage, and an undertaking that requires a staffed factory. The investment/risk is so much lower for the lever harp maker that it’s really not comparable. Dusty is the only maker I can think of who operates at a factory level.

    >I don’t buy anything with the intention of helping economies of scale, and yet we can make a difference by encouraging those interested in playing the harp to actually do so.

    Again, I don’t see your point. Of the students who start with a lever harp, a fairish number will want to go on to a pedal harp. You know, there are a heck of a lot of pedal harp owners out there today who would never have owned a harp or played one at all if they had had to start with a pedal harp.

    I certainly don’t encourage or discourage my own students from playing a pedal harp if they want to, as long as they understand what they are in for, economically. I do have pedal harp students, you know. You seem to be arguing based on the premise that I’m saying nobody should play the pedal harp, and that would be as silly as encouraging *all* my students to play a pedal harp just to prop up the bottom line at L&H.

    Victor Ortega on #145081

    Barbara, I think you are taking what I’m saying way beyond my intentions.

    Jerusha Amado on #145082


    I am in hearty agreement with you about the need for a portable pedal harp!

    Tacye on #145083

    I have been puzzled for some time as to the comparative lack of popularity of Tyrolean single action pedal harps.

    Jerusha Amado on #145084


    unknown-user on #145085

    Going back to the original question re lever harpists being somewhat lesser to the pedal harp, I have to realte one conversation from the last world harp congress, when I mentioned to someone that I’d just played a conservatory exam only to get the response “but what is a lever harpist doing in a conservatory?” Learning to play seemed like the obvious answer. My teacher has said that I’d only really need to move “up” to a pedal harp for grade 6 RCM and there’s a lot of lovely music out there before then.

    amy-walts on #145086

    OoooOooo, Sarah! I’d *love* to hear more about your experiences being a lever harpist in a conservatory environment. What an interesting article that would be to read, from both a lever harpist’s and a pedal harpist’s standpoint! HarpColumn, hit this girl up for an article! Woo hoo!

    unknown-user on #145087

    Regarding advanced lever harp music: Through the American Composers’
    forum i have an open call for technically and aesthetically challenging
    new music for lever harp and have received a few scores so far. Also,
    quite a bit of Andres’ music is playable on lever harp. It is my
    goal to eventually build up a library of the most challenging
    repertoire for the instrument available online with descriptions and
    contact info for ordering scores (whether from composers personally or
    directed to cataloques/publishers). I support the idea of
    having lever harp as an option for a college music major and hope to
    eventually start a program. That the lever harp is not typically an
    orchestral instrument sets it back in classical circles. Although, the
    fact that music departments are exploring non-western European music
    traditions more and more should open the door to taking a traditionally
    folk music instrument like the lever harp more seriously.

    Regarding jazz on lever harp: Rudiger Oppenheim uses some type of
    “blues” levers? Is anyone familiar with these? I am certainly curious.
    The Kong-hou, even the smaller non-pedal models, could also have
    some real potential since they allow for pitch bends and vibrato, and
    have a double row of strings. Man, I want one of those!!. There are
    ways to open up the lever harp to play jazz. Playing modern
    jazz (except maybe modal jazz) on a standard lever harp would present
    significant challenges because of the strongly diatonic nature of the

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #145088

    In that case, I would want a double-strung harp or something like it so I have lots of notes at my disposal.

    jennifer-buehler on #145089

    I agree with those who have said that it’s really the musician and not the instrument.

    Jerusha Amado on #145090

    “Also I don’t believe that lever harp should be confined to traditional music.

    bernhard-schmidt on #145091

    Hallo, The title of this thread is Lever harps versus Pedal harps. In my understanding it���s a little unhappy description of the question behind. When I translate this into my native language it means > Lever harps against Pedal harp This might be understood as a kind of word game from a not native English speaking person. Some of this fighting I can read at the various posts As long as there is any ���against each other��� ���there will be a kind of fighting and no thread will come to any acceptable result. As a lever harp maker I can say that there is absolute no limitation to play the lever harp. The limitation begins only at the moment some one want to play one of the pieces where a pedal harp is necessary. But the harp by it self���when built in a good craftsmanship ���has no limitation at all. And it���s a point of view…from an other perspective one can say that the pedal harp has limitations. Since I���m now almost 30 years with the harp ���I���m surprised that the war is still going on. Well, I���m surprised..? But let me say, there is from my personal view a lot more pedal harpist which still see the lever harp not as a ���full harp���, it���s a starter instrument, it���s a hobby instrument and so on. I think that is sad���.and not the point. @ Victor Ortega, I don���t get your point exactly���..what you want to say with the ��������� The calculation of the factory harps is completely different than of the harp makers calculation of cours…but what does it means to the harpist? About the idea of a small pedal harp���this is only a question of calculation for the factory. If they see any profit you will have one���. I for my self developed and realized a really new step in harp evolution. A MIDI-harp with frequency recognition. The basic intention came from my heart���.and love to the instrument. The calculation comes after. This is the main different from factory to workshop. @ Tacye Phillipson, I agree with you about the Tyrolean harp. From my view ���a very good harp and price relation are the harps from my harp maker colleque Peter M��rnseer, Austria About the cross strung harps I can say that there exist more ore less the historical replicas ���but that���s it. We have here in Germany a very new community for the cross strung harp based on a complete new tonal design. Yes, there are so many things still to be discovered with the lever harps. To play traditional music is one way but also more harpist become aware of there own way. I personally think that the most problems occur by the way pedal harpist get trained and the way of school philosophy… So ��� maybe the real innovations for the harp are produced in small workshops where is still a need to be in touch with the roots ���.while the factory search for profit maximize. And also here ���together should be the way. Not against each other. Normally it is a big different to get a lever harp from a lever harp maker than get one from the factory. Only with peaceful coexistence the thing will at least work. Lever and Pedal harps and factory harps and harp makers the all work for you. Regards

    bernhard-schmidt on #145092

    I’m sorry, now my post is a little bit of …..strange.

    I did a copy and paste from my editor and forgot to get my post in fashion.

    Because I do not see any possibillity to reedit

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