Tough Harp Question

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Keymaster
    HBrock25 on #155968

    I’ve been considering buying a harp, but am having a problem
    Hello, I’m new to the world of harp and thought it would be a great instrument to try before going to college this summer

    From what I’ve researched, harps seem like pretty brutal instruments, considering all the combined tension from the strings on the body. As a result, they can be more prone to warping, especially the neck

    I’ve heard of pedals harps under constant playing conditions last around only 25 years (I’m sure this isn’t the “average” life span for a well maintained harp), and to me it’s pretty discouraging, since I one day plan to play one.

    I plan to buy a floor harp for starters that will last me a lifetime if needed. I know that taking care of the instrument and it’s environment thoroughly can increase it’s lifespan, but it would be nice to have it low maintenance anyway.

    I admit, I’m kind of a rough guy, so a tougher harp would probably be better for me, but I don’t know where to look for one that fits my needs and thought someone here would know.

    I’m not very picky about sound, it just has to be durable and tough enough to last for my children’s children if needed, or am I totally going against the nature of harps itself?

    andee-craig on #155969

    Is it a pedal harp you’re thinking of buying or a lever harp? I can assure you that a good quality lever harp is a sturdy thing and can take a bit of knocking around. Yes, it likes temperatures to be fairly consistent (just don’t put it near a heat or air-conditioning source. My Dusty Strings FH32 is at least 25 years old and going strong.

    Sylvia Clark on #155970

    I play a Lyon-Healy 15 built in 1971, if that’s any help for you to know.

    Amber M on #155971

    Check out the Heartland carbon fiber harps…they should suit your need for a harp that is low maintenance and can take some ‘knocking around’

    stan-guy on #155972

    My L&H style 19 was built in 1922 and still going strong.

    Sylvia Clark on #155973

    Hey Stan, I looked at your portrait.

    Tacye on #155974

    When you read about harps ‘lasting’ only 25 years it is not a case that they are dead after that time.

    sherry-lenox on #155975

    My Wurlitzer was built around 1915, and all the original pieces except strings are still fully functional.

    rod-c on #155976


    I have had a pedal harp for the last

    Rodney William Kingston on #155977

    Hi Eric! may I suggest you check out cross strung harps, which I think are the best if you decide to get a harp suitable for playing modern songs/classical/jazz at a reasonable price, and which are easy to maintain. Visit Harper Tasche’s website for more info.
    Another option that’s also overlooked often is to get a Paraguayan harp with low string tension, but these are essentially diatonic, unless you order one with levers.
    With a lever harp though, how do you play accidental notes without having to take a hand away from playing to flip the lever, and flip it back?
    Hope this helps.
    Best of luck,
    Harper Rod

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