Lever Positions When Tuning

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    How do you all explain the tuning process to students in terms of lever positions?

    My personal method when I perform is to set the levers to C major and then tune the strings, as this is a key ‘near’ to most keys I play in.

    However, i have read that the text-book method is to dis-engage all the levers and tune in E flat. This method sounds like it would work in an ideal world – ie if the harp had perfect intonation, but in the real world of mechanical imperfections I find that my C major method seems more practical.

    Any comments?


    Bristol, UK


    Martin- Whatever works for you is the best way to tune. You’ve described the dilemma very well. If you are playing in C, G, and F most of the time, and their related minor keys, then tuning in C is probably going to make the instrument sound most in tune.


    Martin, according to “The First Lady of the Harp”, as the late Mildred Dilling was called, Carl’s view above is spot on.

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