I am looking to purchase a therapy harp and believe I have narrowed it down to three possibilities. A Westover (23 strings),
I have had my Lewis Creek Nightingale for almost 3 years now and I am loving it! It has a beautiful, warm tone (mine is made out of Cherry Wood), is light weight and has 27 strings, about the maximum you will find on a therapy harp. I highly recommend Truitt levers, since they don’t change the tone and are lighter than any of the others.
I was completely new to the harp when I got my Nightingale and played it exclusively during my first year of learning, before adding a full size harp to my collection. I am currently enrolled in IHTP, so my Nightingale will eventually be used for what it was intended for: therapy work.
Also, aesthetically speaking, I think it is one of the prettiest small harps around and Jeff Lewis, the luthier, is really wonderful to deal with.
I heard good things about the Westover Harp too, however, I too would be concerned about the limited 23 string range.
Hope this helps. Good luck with you purchase!
If my scale is correct, my harp weighs in at slightly under 8 pounds (fully levered with Truitt levers). If the weight is that important to you, I suggest checking with Jeff Lewis…, I am sure he will be able to give you accurate information. Either way, the harp is very light and easy to handle.The Triplett knee-bones crossbar works great with it for playing while having the harp rest on your lap. Now that I am working on my harp therapy certification, I am playing it with the strap, which is a bit awkward at first, but after a while, you get the hang of it.
The spacing is identical to my full-size harp (Thormahlen Swan), just lighter string tension as a therapy harp should have. Also, I found that pretty much from the beginning, my harp required very little tuning and I have yet to replace a single string on it. And in the 3 years I’ve had it the tone has warmed up significantly and, given the small instrument, the resonance is amazing!
Actually Christina wrote that in her book Cradle of Sound! Thanks so much for all of the feedback. I too am looking at enrolling in the her harp therapy program. My instructor has almost completed it (she has a degree in psychology, a bachelor of music and a bachelor in Music Therapy. If figure if she is impressed with it the program must be pretty good.) As I am working full time I want to start working on the pieces but probably not enroll for a year or so.
Hi Deb! I am quoting from Christina’s Book Cradle of sound with regards to tension. Page 80 “The tension needs to be lighter than most harps. Tight-tensioned strings produce a tone too bright for the confort of many patients, especially when played at bedside. Patients on morphine drip are especially sensitive to the bright sounds of a harp with tight tension. Listen for
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