Which harp should i get?

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Keymaster
    HBrock25 on #155307

    Hi, i am looking to buy a harp. i am stuck between the Harpsicle, and the Ravenna 26. i have read reviews on both, and all were good. i like the Harpsicle because it is so light, and sounds beautiful, while a lot cheaper-$400. while the Ravenna 26 sounds and look beautiful, while this is about $700 plus shipping, i can get the harpsicle at a music shop near me so no shipping. I love both and i like the option of a leg in the Ravenna, while the Harpsicle has a DVD and book i can get on Amazon that would help me, i don’t know if it could be used if i ordered the Ravenna. So which should i get? Thanks a bunch

    Participant
    harpglo-jean on #155308

    The Ravenna hands down!…As I stated on another post, I own a Ravenna 26 and love it! The depth of tone and the resonance are incredible for such a small harp, whereas the Harpsicle, to my ears, is shallow and “twangy” sounding and the string tension is very light.

    Participant
    Rachel on #155309

    For a first harp, a harp that can touch the floor (either through the drop-down leg, or the wonderful add-on leg stand for $99) may be easier to learn on, because you don’t have to worry about holding it the same way you would with a lap harp.

    Participant
    deb-l on #155310

    get the Ravenna, more resonant.

    Member
    Shane Gladney on #155311

    Thanks, to everybody, i will save my money for longer and buy the Ravenna 26

    Participant
    unknown-user on #155312

    The Harpsicle® harp models and the Revenna are designed for different purposes. While the different Harpsicle® harps are made to be light and to fit easily into the overhead of an airliner, the Revenna is quite heavy, larger and unable to do this. As for the sound of the Harpsicle® harps, Gloria Garcia’s comment about “twangy” strings sounds more like a technique problem rather than the fault of the harp. If you would like to hear the sounds of the Harpsicle® harps go to YouTube and listen to a young German woman at “happyharps09” play the different Harpsicle® harp models. She plays each of the four models but this is a link to the basic Harpsicle® harp, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gu33Wb1Th0 . There are also Mp3 samples at http://harpsicleharps.com.

    I have been building concert lever harps for 40 years for some of the top names in the business including three Grammy winning performers. Even though Harpsicle® Harps are our entry level line line they are still backed by Rees Harps Inc. Interestingly, despite the fact that we originally intended the Harpsicle® harp as a beginners instrument, it has not ended up that way. Full-time harpists from all around the world find themselves using these little harps in ways I have to admit I never even imagined. It is wonderful and exciting to see (and hear) what they have created.

    Participant
    Maria Myers on #155313

    I don’t know if the original poster is a beginner at harp playing, but if so, many respected harp teachers have weighed in on this forum concerning starting with a lap harp as a first harp, and I believe that the overwhelming consensus is that it is not ideal.

    Participant
    Paul and Brenda on #155314

    My wife and I have been playing the Grand Harpsicles for over a year and we really like them.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #155315

    In reply to Maria Myers post. I have worked with hundreds of teachers and performers, which includes myself, of course. Through the years the old antiquated notion that you have to buy as many strings as you can afford has only hurt the development and popularity of the harp. Most of Mozart’s compositions are in a three to three and a half octave range. If that is good enough for him, it should be good enough for the harp world. When buying a harp, you should decide as to what you personally want to do with your harp. Do you want to have fun, play a few Christmas carols etc. or become a concert harpist. Make sure when picking a harp teacher that it is your agenda that they are thinking of and not theirs. The harp should be fun for you, no matter what the size or the number of strings.

    Participant
    Maria Myers on #155316
    Mr. Rees,

    You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but there have been many many comments on this forum from teachers, pros, and students that they were able to play much more of the lever harp repertoire when they had a harp with at least 34 strings.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #155317

    Maria Myers

    You are truly missing the point! There are literally thousands of people learning to play and enjoying the harp in battered woman programs, children at risk programs (San Francisco, New York, Mexico, Africa) UN cultural exchange programs, Veteran programs, Irish School of Harp in Ireland, church harp choirs, school harp classes, Chinese Harp Ensemble,
    classes in Germany, Norway, France and on and on .People that would never have the chance to hold or play a harp. All this because of the Harpsicle Harp (which by the way Maria can come fully levered) and the wonderful teachers many of whom are tops in their field. Some will probably stay with the Harpsicle Harp and others will move on to other harps. With your philosophy these wonderful things would not be happening. Not one size shoe fits all.

    Participant
    Maria Myers on #155318

    If the only way that people can afford to play a harp is if they buy a lap harp, then that is what they must do.

    Participant
    poppy-rose on #155319

    Just wanted to weigh in…

    I own a flatsicle, and a salvi juno, and a lyon and healy prelude. All 3 of course have different sounds. But I’ve found that i love them all. the Flatsicle has its own place in my heart. It is a sweet little harp, it’s very lightweight, and by using the knee stick and the strap together, balance isn’t an issue. At one time I thought it was sounding twangy, but then my husband noticed that a string or 2 had slipped on the lever. probably happened when I de tuned it for transport. once it was corrected, it sounded great. However, the string tension is really light, and you do need to adjust your playing/technique for this. Once you master this, it has a pleasant sound. Of course it doesn’t project like the bigger harps, but it has it’s place in the harp world. I think once you understand you need to play it differently, you can appreciate it. This harp has a time and place for itself.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #155320

    What you are saying is that you prefer the sound of the cello and the bass rather than a violin or a viola. That is YOUR opinion and agenda. I have built concert lever harps for some of the best known harpist in the world with three Grammy winning recording (including Yo Yo Ma and Paul Winters) a feat that the harp makers that you mentioned could only hope for. I would love to sell the public only these harps, because they are so rich and responsive. However again you are missing the point. It’s not a point of agreeing or disagreeing, it is a mind set of limiting only thousands of people to enjoying playing the harp rather than allowing hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy playing the harp. Oh, did I forget to mention that most of our customers are TEACHERS and as you mentioned “PROS”, and there are many harpist that have dedicated their whole life to the lap harp and historic harps with no levers at all. Chryl Anne Fulton is a prime example and if you never heard of her you should do some homework. By the way, she has a pink Harpsicle harp. As the violin is not lesser than a cello, a lap harp is not lesser than a 34 , 36 or 47 string harp. And remember, the Harp Column is a very very small and almost invisible part in the whole world of harps. Having a keyboard in front of some people does not make many on the forum an authority. The harp is a wonderful and a simple instrument to play and the plan should be to get more harps in peoples hands. The harp should be as popular and as easy to obtain as a guitar.

    Participant
    unknown-user on #155321

    Thank You Edella Venzina. You really get it. All harps have their place. The original Harpsicle Harp was meant to roughly follow the lines and tension of Gothic and Ren. Harps. Go to You Tube and look up ” chimarot” an Asian girl, and” happyharps09″ a girl from Germany. They both do a great job and there recordings are good. As of April the new Harpsicle Harp G3 has been introduced which has a larger voice and tighter string tension.

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