Sharpening levers are the levers that make a lever harp a lever harp.
They are attached on the peg arm of the harp below the bridge pins. Either one on each string or on select strings like the Cs and Fs depending on how much money you want to spend and what kind of music you intend to play.
When you flip a sharpening lever up it effectively presses into the string shortening the vibrating length of the string causing the pitch to raise by a semi tone. So if you flip the lever up on the C string the C string now sounds as a C#.
They allow you to play in different keys and also allow you to play the occasional accidental note as well. Without them then on small non pedal harps you would have to re-tune to play in different keys and you would pretty much be stuck playing diatonic music.
If you’re currently playing a troubadour you have a big ol’ set of sharping levers on that. Given that you say your teacher doesn’t know what they are, do you just ignore them and play everything in the key of C (or e-flat if the harp hasn’t had the tuning changed) or retune the whole harp every time you need a different key? If so, I wouldn’t worry about having them on a lap harp, either.
But who couldn’t figure that out, Tacye? I’ve never met anyone who wouldn’t figure out that sharping lever, sharpening lever, lever, blade, wire loop lever, semitone lever, performance lever, camac lever, box lever, etc. all serve the same purpose, if it in somewhat different ways.
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