String Tension: Pedal Harp vs. Latin

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    unknown-user on #160984

    Hi! Having become a student of the Latin harp, I have noticed there seems to be very little mention, and so awareness, of the fact that the string tension in pedal and nearly all Celtic-style harps is quite high, about 30 pounds (12.5 Kg) per string or higher, necessitating the special playing technique that most harpers are familiar with.

    In comparison, the string tension in Latin harps is about 14 pounds (5.5 kg) per string, so a different playing technique is used, and may I say with respect, one that’s significantly easier than the above technique used for pedal and Celtic-style harps.

    Just thought I’d post this point so folk will know.

    tony-morosco on #160985

    Actually Celtic harps are basically just smallish lever harps, and they can come in any range of string tension. Actually most are lighter tension and closer string spacing than pedal harps, although of course some are very close to pedal harp.

    That is why many people who play nylon strung lever harps can use their fingernails in the same general way that wire strung harpers play.

    I have three lever harps and have had others in the past and only one of my lever / Celtic harps has had similar tension and spacing to a pedal harp.

    unknown-user on #160986

    Hi again all. While the string tension of lever harps may vary, generally it seems to be a deal higher than that of Latin harps.

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