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Questions about the Ravenna 26

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  • #76414
    danielle-matl
    Participant

    Hi, I am considering buying the Ravenna 26 but have a few questions. I am interested in celtic and spiritual music, and need an instrument that is easily portable. Would this instrument be a good fit for these styles of music? Anyone out there who owns or owned one: what is your opinion of them? What are some of their positive or negative qualities? Do they keep a good sound over time? Thanks!

    #76415
    wilma-hatcher
    Participant

    I have a 26 string Ravenna (with the leg inside the harp) that is fully levered. I bought it in 2006 or 2007. This instrument is very portable and holds its tune well. I have used it in bedside therapy as a Certified Music Practitioner, but have also traveled with it. I had a hard case made by Colorado Case and took it to Croatia in 2008. I am getting ready to take it to Guatemala in May. By hang it fully levered, you can play in most keys using an E flat tuning.

    The only problem I’ve encountered is with the leg. I noticed that I could not tighten it to stay in the down position. The “puck” on the inside which serves as the guide for stabilizing the leg has come loose and needs to be reattached. I contacted Dusty Strings asking about a repair I can make and they responded very quickly and in a very friendly way. I wanted to make sure the integrity of the harp wasn’t compromised. They assured me that I can make the repair and made some suggestions as to how to proceed.

    Let me know what you decide.

    #76416
    danielle-matl
    Participant

    That sounds really good over all. I am glad it is so easily portable. How much of an advantage does having it fully levered give you? See, I am fairly new to the harp and have been playing on a rented instrument. I am on a tight budget, and know it costs more to have it fully levered. What would you recommend? Are there any other harps that may be a good choice?

    #76417
    wilma-hatcher
    Participant

    The biggest reason to have it fully levered is to be able to play in any key. If you do not plan to play with other people, then decide which strings should be levered. I have a little 22 string with levers on the F and C strings so that I can play sharps and in the keys of G and D. I have several books which have music written in the key of C. I needed a harp which was portable and also had a good sound. There are several “therapy” harps available if you just google them. I felt that the Ravenna was the best buy for the money. Hope this helps.

    #76418
    Alison
    Participant

    I teach a 7 year old and it’s nearly too small for her, so it would be small for you. The platform stand works better than the extendable post which is dreadful to balance on. However with only one octave below middle C down to 5th C I doubt it will cover many pieces. Take a look at your music first – or settle for playing everthing an octave higher, I guess.

    #76419
    danielle-matl
    Participant

    Thanks for the advice. I am liking the sound of the Ravenna more than other harps the same size. Alison, what size of harp would you suggest?

    #76420
    Alison
    Participant

    well 30+ strings really. With 34, middle C is more or less central and will give you 2 octaves in the bass clef. The top string tends to be about the same note regardless (around 1st A or G simply because of the apex); it’s taken me a long time to realise this. What’s the next size up ? I had a look recently but can’t recall. There’s lots to choose from

    #76421
    danielle-matl
    Participant

    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I am in the USA. I am going to do some more research. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Size? Type of harp? Cost and portability are important.

    #76422

    Danielle
    Do you have previous musical experience, especially in theory? Are you willing and able to be inventive in the left hand? Is there a particular healing music program that you’re interested in? What is their philosophy on what kind of harp you need? All of this will factor into what is right for you.
    I think having a C below middle C makes a harp wildly flexible as long as you have some basic theory knowledge. The A parts of Sylvia Woods Hymns and Wedding, 50 Irish Tunes and her Christmas book all work well on this size of instrument. If you can use a fake book, then Cynthia Shelhart’s Tunes to Go is great too.
    As far as full sized harps, Blevins makes light weight reasonably priced instruments like this one
    http://www.blevinsharps.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=284_95_254
    My primary harp is a Thormahlen Serenade
    http://www.thorharp.com/pages/Serenade.htm
    A bit pricey but very light weight
    http://www.heartlandharps.com/models.html
    In the end though, it really comes down to what works for you. I started out on a 22 string lap harp with out levers. I used it a lot like a guitar, playing chords and singing the melody. It’s not what I would recommend to people but it worked for me.
    Some advantages of the Ravenna–If you can’t afford full levers right now, it’s really easy to add levers later. You don’t even need a harp tech to do it. Even if the pull out pin isn’t as nice as the stand, it does work and you can get the stand later.
    Jennifer

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