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Celtic & Classical Stringed Harp


harp An ancient musical instrument, Harp remains have even been found in Egyptian tombs with records dating from biblical times.  Widely used in Ireland, the irish harp was adapted for orchestral operas.

The double action harp is most commonly used in orchestras and has a range of 6 1/2 octaves from C-flat to four octaves above G-flat tuned to a diatonic C-flat major scale. There are seven pedals for each set of notes which enable the player to raise a note by a tone or semitone.  The pedals are also used to create chords when playing glissando.

The instrument is played by plucking and strumming the strings which produces an elegant sweet sound.

harpBeginners would be wise to start with a small Harp as it can take a long time to develop a good technique being a complicated instrument requiring lots of practice in both playing and learning about the instrument.

The harp has many strings requiring precise tuning and the orchestral harp is large and bulky which makes it difficult to transport.

Popular in celtic, folk, jazz and pop music, the harp has many forms ranging from the small Celtic Harp, Irish Harp, Lyre Harp, Lute Harp or Tyrolean Harp up to the majestic and full size Classical and Double Stringed Harp complete with levers and pedals all of which are used in a variety of musical styles and applications although the common use is in Irish, orchestral or classical music.



Harps & Accessories



12 String Harp
The 12 String Irish Harp by Gear4music is an elegantly crafted instrument made from selected rosewoods, with ornate carved body. This solid engraved construction with a treble and bass sound hole provides unmatched clarity of sound, and comes complete with spare strings and a tuning key.
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36 String Harp with Levers
The 36 String Irish Harp by Gear4music is an elegantly crafted instrument made from selected Rosewoods, which combines high quality solid wood and craftsmanship to create a stunning, lightweight harp. Featuring a treble and bass sound hole and a smooth solid wood soundboard, this harp achieves a clear, well rounded projection of sound. Our 36 string harp is tuned via the fine tuners and tapered tuning pegs with the included tuning tool and also features coveted levers for changing key with ease.
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Baby Harp Baby Harp TM, Birch, 12 Strings
This functioning harp has an engraved rosewood frame with a birch soundboard. Featuring 12 DuPont hard nylon strings with a range from F above Middle C to High C. There are no sharpening levers. A tuning tool and an extra string set are included. Instruction book sold separately. Approximately 21" high.
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Toscano Celtic Tara Harp Design Toscano Celtic Tara Harp
Once embraced by medieval celtic troubadours, the imported, hand-carved, quality rosewood and birch rendition is a traditional 12 string harp. This fully functional instrument, also known as decorative art, is graced with hand-carved knot motifs and fitted with rows of metal tuning pegs and string guides. 1/12 octaves, 12 strings. W x D x H: 12 x 4 x 20/12 inches, 4 lbs.
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EMS 29 Nylon String Gothic Harp
Excellent 29 string gothic harp by EMS. Made from traditional woods and strung in nylon. Dimensions, Height: 114 cm Width: 52 cm, Depth: 13 cm, Weight: 3.7 kg
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EMS Gothic Harp EMS 29 Nylon String Gothic Harp
This is an authentic Gothic harp, designed by The Early Music Shop, U.K., from iconographical examples of the French Gothic harps. The body, arm and pillar are Sheesham and the soundboard is ply. There are 29 DuPont nylon strings, tuned F2-F6. Unlike modern harps, the Gothic harp is not strung from the back. Each string is held into the soundboard by tension and a small button topped peg. This is a non-standing lap harp with delicate lines. The graceful arm and pillar are accented with fluid curves. You will love this beauty. 40 inches long by 20 inches deep. The base of the resonator is 5.25 inches wide by 2.25 inches deep. A tuning tool and extra string set included.
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Harp Tuning Tool, Medium
Replacement tuning tool. Required to tune and restring your harp. This fits the majority of the Mid-East Harps, from the HPBY, Baby Harp (TM) up to and including the HRB38 Round Back 38 String Harp.
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Lute Harp
The Gear4music 22 nylon string Lute Harp is a thinner and more portable version of harp that can sit comfortably on your lap. Featuring a intricate and carefully carved Rosewood frame, this diatonic instrument produces a rich and authentic sounding tone. Included with the harp is a fabric gig bag, tuning lever and a spare set of strings.
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Lyre Harp
The lyre harp is one of the oldest known musical instruments dating back to ancient Greece. The lyre harp is built on a flat handheld body made from carefully hand carved Maple. The eight steel strings create a clear and rich tone. Included with this harp is a gig bag and tuning handle.
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Lyre Harp, 8 String
Lyre Harp. Origin Country: Pakistan. 3 lbs. Made by Mid-East. The solid rosewood body lends itself to the soft gentle curves of this eight string lyre. The eight metal strings provide a classical sound that is enhanced by the solid spruce soundboard. When you are not playing, you can hang it up as a piece of art; it's that pretty. Tuning tool, extra string set included. Hold it upright on your lap or as you walk, and pluck both sides of the strings. Or lay it flat and pluck it. 10 inches wide by 17 inches long, 2.75 inches deep. Suggested tuning is below Middle C High to low C# D# E F G A d g b e#.
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Mid-East Lyre Harp Mid-East Lyre Harp, 8 String
The solid rosewood body lends itself to the soft gentle curves of this eight string lyre. The eight metal strings provide a classical sound that is enhanced by the solid spruce soundboard. When you are not playing, you can hang it up as a piece of art; it's that pretty. Tuning tool is included. Hold it upright on your lap or as you walk, and pluck both sides of the strings. Or lay it flat and pluck it. 10 inches wide by 17 inches long, 2.75 inches deep. There are a few suggestions for tuning. An authentic tuning derived from Judaic worship music, where the instrument was used to accompany the singing of the Chazzan, also known as a Cantor. This style of tuning uses the Chazzanut mode. Starting with the bass (largest strings) tune as follows: E F G# A B C D E (Ahava Raba mode). In the early Middle Ages in Eastern Europe, the secularization of the Jewish worship music gave rise to Klezmer music. Jewish troubadours, known as klezmorim gave the music a place in weddings and other simkhes (joyful events).
Read more at Amazon UK

Pirastro 673000 Folk Harp String Set, 3rd Octave
The Pirastro Nycor P673000 Folk Harp String Set offers players a consistent feel and sound. The nylon core has a warm sound that resonates a range of harmonics. The strings have been polished for unmatched precision throughout their entire length, benefitting your intonation and feel. The medium gauge tension offers the optimum balance of playability and versatility. This eight string set is designed for the third octave on your folk, Tyrolean or Irish harp.
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Rees Harps Harpsicle Harp Rees Harps Harpsicle Harp : Purple
33 inches tall, 26 strings, 3-1/2 octaves, G to C below middle C, Self-teaching booklet, tuning wrench, strap buttons
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Roosebeck Harp Bridge Pins, Brass, Pack of 6
The overall length is approximately 1.5 inches long (38 mm). The length from the end to the string notch is approximately 1.3 inches (33.3 mm). They have a diameter of 5/32 inches (4mm). They are solid brass and have a groove at one end that holds the string. These pins are handmade so expect some variation in size. These bridge pins are meant to fit the following Roosebeck(TM) harps: Pixie Harp (TM), Heather Harp (TM), and Minstrel Harp (TM).
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Roosebeck Lute Harp
This lute harp is approximately 27" and has 22 nylon strings. It has a solid sheesham frame with a birch plywood soundboard. There are four soundholes on the back. Strings run from tuning pegs on the curved neck to an angled bridge on soundboard. The recommended tuning for this lute harp is diatonically (like the natural notes or white keys on a piano), from the longest to the shortest note: Longest note is tuned to C4. Shortest note is tuned to C7. Accessories: Nylon case, Tuning tool.
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Roosebeck Harp String Set, 12, F - C
12 DuPont hard nylon strings, color coded for easy replacement, red for C and blue for F.
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Roosebeck Harp String Set, 29, C - C
Celtic Harp Strings. Made by Roosebeck. 29 DuPont hard nylon strings, color coded for easy replacement, red for C and blue for F. Fits the Minstrel Harp TM and the 29 String Gothic Harp.
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String Applications


harp iconArto's String Calculator very comprehensive online program with full instructions for calculating where a string can be used by setting the diameter and more. Measures string tension and diameter for a number of instruments, in a variety of settings. He also has an updated version available Arto's Updated String Calculator and Arto's String Diameter/Tension Drawer


harp iconString Tension Pro free, easy-to-use web application that allows you to customize, create and compare string sets for your instrument




harp iconJavaTuner applet demonstrates various historical tunings and temperaments and allows one to experiment with them. Developed to accompany a text on Understanding temperaments, and is complemented by a set of MIDI files demonstrating various tunings and temperaments, full instructions and a variety of modern and archaic tuning modes. Also provides selected intervals and a chord player.

harp icon The McDonald Patent Universal String Tension Calculator a handy calculator to figure string tensions in steel-string instruments. If you plug in your scale length, string gauges and tuning, it will give you a readout of the tension on each of the strings. This is useful when you're trying to fine-tune a set of custom gauges, or when you're working out how far you can push a drop tuning before it becomes unmanageable.

harp icon Theo's Instrument String Tension Calculator designed to calculate string tension (individual and total) exerted on an instrument (guitar, banjo, mandolin etc.) by a specific set of strings. String gauges and materials can be altered, as can the scale length; all these factors have an effect on the overall tension.

Harp Links

harpist

Celtic Harp Page Everything you've ever wanted to know about the Celtic Harp includes FAQ what it is, playing, teachers, history, rentals, buying harps, technique, avoiding injury, etc.

Celtic Harp FAQ provided by Hobgoblin Music

Colorado Celtic Harp Society organisation for harpists located in the Colorado area.

Sylvia Woods Harp Center Teacher Handouts includes free downloadable pdf files on tuning, pedals, harmonics, harpists plus fingering workbook sheets, practice and learning tips, fun pages, harp ecards, accessories and harp sheet music.

Rees Harps includes general harp info plus a very useful section on harp care and maintenance.

String Pedagogy website created by Michael Hopkins provides articles and videos mainly aimed at violin, cellow and double bass players plus advice on rehearsal strategies, repertoire selection and history of string education in the USA.

The 10 worst things about playing the harp, by Claire Jones harpist extraordinaire tells us the worst things about being a harpist.