My harp got wet… what should I do??

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    Played an outdoor concert tonight with a ballet troupe, and mid-piece, it started raining. I had to play for another 8 minutes in the rain.
    Afterwards I toweled my harp off and some of the varnish feels soft?
    Does anyone know what I should do? Could this ruin my harp? Any advice? I am freaking out a bit… A lot really 🙁


    You should put some electric fans on aimed at the harp and leave them on for several hours minimum. That’s the best way of thoroughly drying the instrument.


    Thank you for the advice!
    Do you (or anyone) know what I should be looking for in terms of damage?
    What are signs that I need to take it in to get looked at?


    I don’t know, but just for future reference….
    I’ve had a couple of close calls with rain, and I keep my cover right with me, and the dolly as close as possible. At the first sign of a sprinkle, I jump up and cover up the harp and try to get to a safe place, if there is one.
    You do NOT have to keep playing. Your harp is more important than anything that’s going on.


    I agree with Sylvia. I put it right in my contract that at the first sign of rain I stop immediately, cover the harp and run like a rabbit.

    If it is at an area where you’re just in a place where you can’t stash your harp, just carry some “Painters plastic” (found in any paint store or Lowes etc.) and it folds up into a very small little bundle and you can stash it right under your bench. It will be great in a sudden rain event and then you can safely get your harp out of there.

    So sorry this happened to you – I hope your harp will be ok.


    Rachael Rosenbaum

    You should not ever have to sacrifice your instrument to play a few more minutes, or any amount of time for that matter. I agree with what the above posters said-stipulate ahead of time that you do not play in rain! These harps ain’t cheap, and there’s also sentimental value!


    Mine were just weddings, and I don’t use a contract.
    However, no one questioned me on why I did what I did. It is very obvious to observers. There is no need to explain or apologize.
    If anyone is stupid enough to ask, you could just say…would YOU leave a XXK instrument out in the rain?

    Gretchen Cover

    Timbre, I’m very sorry you had this unfortunate experience. I hope your harp is all right. Please everyone – enough lectures. How about a little sympathy and advice on drying out a wet harp:)

    Carl, would using a dehumidifer help or could it damage the harp with too rapid drying?


    I’m sure we are ALL sympathetic…just trying to make sure something like that doesn’t happen again.


    Thanks Gretchen for the refocus! I appreciate all the pointers guys, but yes I’m not looking for advice for avoiding this situation. Its already happened and can’t be undone. Just looking to see if there is anything I can do now, besides just waiting and looking for damage.

    I do normally require a covering (for outdoor weddings and festivals), but I had never done an outdoor performance with a ballet troupe. It feels a lot harder to simply stop playing when thousands of people are watching and there are 20 people on stage depending on you. I kind of panicked in the moment and just kept performing. Se la vie, I learned my lesson.

    Thanks for all the replies! I’m new here 😉

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