Did I see somewhere that someone is well on the way to developing an ergonomic pedal harp of a completely new design (perhaps radically different) that was to be unveiled at the World Harp Congress this year, but for some reason the maker can’t be there after all? I think he’s someone who has been building harps, large and small (perhaps just lever harps up to this point) for some time. It was not a name or a make of harp that i recognized, and I’m familiar with almost all the well-known harp makers. I think I saw a black and white photo of him and he’s an older, smiling heavily-bearded guy. Does anyone know who this is who designed the harp? Does anyone know anything about the guy or know anything about any of his harps? Does anyone know anything about his claims, and what it is that allegedly makes his new style of harp so “ergonomic”?
I saw something a while back about how he’s developing something called an “ergonomic orchestra harp”, but no pictures and there’s not even a mention on his website. He’s supposed to be on tv in Australia next week, though:
I was really interested in this harp when I first heard about it and corresponded briefly with Hugh Jones. He said that while exhibiting at the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam in 2008, he was struck by watching an eleven year old boy playing a full sized pedal harp with blocks on the pedals which he could not easily reach. The harp was too heavy and the strings too stiff for a child and he worried about what sort of troubles the child might have later from playing this way. So he decided to build a very small and light instrument that could be played by either a child or an adult. The double action pedal harp he described building has 36 strings with slightly narrower string spacing, similar to a lever harp. The bass strings from 5th octave E are fibre core with a metal wrap so it takes less effort to play them.