My new harp (hooray!)

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    Karen Johns

    Fascinating and Beautiful! Congratulations Kate! I confess that I don’t know very much about the triple strung harps. I heard somewhere that they are Welsh in ancient origin?


    Thanks, Karen!

    They are originally Italian and then involved to Welsh music tradition (around 17-18th), if I’m not mistaken.

    It is not hard – it’s unusial: you need to come through 2 strings to the middle-row (half-tones), but you can play the dubling without loosing a sound – cosmos! You also can play too many tunes impossible for pedal and lever harp (but triple-impossible tunes also are). The spacing is a little wider than on lever harp and probably on a pedal – for tone-rows, – but while the halftones are middle, the subjective spacing is convinient. The tension is very light and you need to play closer to the soundboard. Hands are staying a little bit another way, if you play without the traditional maneer, – and deffinetly other way, if you’re good girl and play as Andrew Lawrence-King shown (by the way, quite more sutable!).

    Yes. My “De Viaggio” and “Cellini” are designed by Rainer Thurau himself, and I love this design. They both are really a piece of art!


    Lovely harp. I went to a lecture on triple harp a few years ago by Cheryl Ann Fulton. She let me try her harp and I have to admit I could not play it. At least with my eyes open. Even playing a simple diatonic tune (I think I played Greensleeves) all those strings at different distances vibrating made me dizzy, literally. When I got up I almost fell down because it made my head spin.

    My hat is off to anyone who can play one of these things. They are not for the faint of heart.



    Congrats on your new harp. It is a beautiful instrument and I know it will bring you (and others) hours of pleasing music for years to come!!


    Rod C.


    Tony, it depends ;-)
    For me triple is much more convinient than any other versions of harp. Maybe, this is personal: I cannot play pedal harp, for example, and always also take my hat off to pedal harpists. I have no idea how to connect legs and hands… but on any harp I always play with closed eyes or looking to somewhere else and know the all notes position by fingers (I cannot explain it right in English – and in Russian it’s useless, yeah?). When you look at triple – you can lost yourself in strings forest! I had no such problem from the very begining. Andrew shown me some basical moments – and my life finally came easier. BTW, the second point in my happiness – Lawrence-King is really wonderfull teacher.


    Thanks, Rod!
    Now learning “Gnossienne” by Erik Satie and just yesterday finished with some Landie works. Cannot stop. I’m triple-addict.


    Dear Katerina

    I only came across your posting today so forgive me for posing questions on your aesthetically appealing new harp some three years after your posting!

    May I ask which tutor book you started with or are you mostly self-taught with a few master classes from Andrew Lawrence-King?

    Did you have to pay the 19% VAT in addition to the sale of the harp? Were the shipping fees very expensive?

    Does the harp require annual regulation?

    Do you require an ‘estate car’ for purposes of transportation?

    I know that there are youtube videos on the Thurau website but have you yourself made any youtube videos that I may have a look at?

    Kind regards,



    Dear Pheona,

    Yes, I’m self-taught for the beginning, styding with Andrew Lawrence-King now.

    VAT… depends, where you are living. I was living in Russia that time, so, no VAT.
    I transported the harp myself on extra seat. If you are in Europe, that is the cheapest and the most officient way. I can tell you the whole procedure.

    Annual regulation for baroque triple? Nooo, just tuning that ~100 strings every day :-D

    We own 2 Thurau triples at the moment: De Viaggio and Domeniccino. Both are SUPER and fit into any car except Smart, probably. They are small – Viaggio is 150cm, Domeniccino is 185cm, – slender and easy to pack into the car or airplane.

    I don’t have my youtube videos, but on Thurau web-site Andrew Lawrence-King plays my own De Viaggio on video.


    gorgeous harp. It would have been worth the 19% surcharge which the European Directive dictates we have to pay. Are you going to be posting sound clips or YouTube videos?

    Sarah Mullen

    I’ve been looking at the Thurau website with great lust for several years now.


    Dear Sarah,

    Rainer has lots of clients in USA. Cheryl Ann Fulton, Margaret Cohen, Christa Patton, Nancy Hurrel and others, you may find a big list on his web-site in “testimonials” section.

    Whenever you are in England, you are welcome to see the instruments :-)
    will be playing his new Thurau Domeniccino on American Harp Society
    Conference 2012 and he often performs in USA. If you wish, I can keep
    you informed about his USA concerts – just write me a request on katya
    (at) theharpconsort (dot) com


    Thanks, I love it.

    As far as I know, Rainer takes off VAT if the harp is leaving Germany.

    Probably, I’ll post something… but, to be honest, just didn’t see a need in it before. I’ll think. :-)

    Sarah Mullen

    Dare I ask how much this harp cost?

    Participant – here is Thurau price-list.

    So, mine one was 8100 Euro. Domeniccino was 10500 Euro. More-less around average triple-harp price from a good maker in Europe, but the quality difference is rather spectacular. Rainer is a genius.

    What I must say about doppias/triples is that double-row harp is much less convinient to play and allows much less freedom. I think, historically they turned into triples pretty fast, because it makes a huge difference when you play triple.
    On double you can’t play in parallel diatonic rows. You should also watch out for a place where the hand manuals are changing – not to play too low with right hand or too high with left. I tried doubles… still very happy that I bought a triple and don’t wish to buy double if I even had spare money for it.

    Andrew is against doubles as well and advises to all his students rather not to waste the money and buy a nice triple. He sold his Italian double 20 years ago and never played it since that, using either Gothic harp (and hand-stopping the semitones where needed) for earlier times or triple for later.

    * * *
    But, if you necessarly wish to have double as a facion thing-of-time and if you play only 16th century, Bologna III is a champion of doubles, I think.
    Of triples I would recommend Domenichino (smaller version of Thurau celebrated Zampieri model).Very light-weight, very strong sound on pretty small delicate instrument. Bass down to low G. I just adore this instrument.
    My Viaggio is a great one, with enormous sound for such tiny thing, but it is just to C: fine range for late Renaissance or late Baroque, but not an instrument to play a solo from “Orfeo” Monteverdi on.

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