I have a lovely lever harp with standard gut strings – getting on a bit now. Thinking of re-stringing with light gut or even carbon fibre since it is really hard work playing folk music with them . Has anyone any experience of altering the strings on their harp – I’m a bit scared that I lose the lovely tone.?
Carbon fiber strings are definitely different. I practiced on a harp with them for a couple of weeks, and I was quite sore afterwards, it did some actual damage. They are much more resistant, and the tone is unattractive compared to gut or nylon. They sound like flouride for some reason. And then, you are likely absorbing flouride through your skin. How risky that is, I don’t know. I did have copper poisoning at one time, and the only likely source was harp strings. Fortunately, it has not recurred. It is not uncommon, apparently, for that to happen. I did play a wire-strung harp at one time, and it was so weird to go back to the regular strings.
Hmmm…..that’s interesting Saul. So, the wire strung harp you had was strung with copper? Or was it bronze? I’ve never heard of this happening before. I play a wire-strung harp too, but it’s strung with steel. But it does make sense that any material/chemical you come in contact with will have a chance to
Well, I’m new to harp, but I’ll jump in with nylgut.
Nylgut strings I use on my ukuleles as they give a good balance between gut tone and nylon durability. They’re strung to the same tension as nylon strings. I don’t know enough about harps to say whether or not either a nylon or gut strung harp could be strung with nylgut, nor even if nylgut harp strings are available. Be a bit longer than my soprano uke sets, I’d imagine!
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