April 25, 2010


She's fixed. She's strung. She's...almost staying in tune. And after playing the loaner gothic harp for months, she sounds like a music box!

But she's so much easier to play, she's louder, she's clearer. The gothic harp tended to be muddy much lower than Gertrude's range. Her extremely loose strings made it impossible not to buzz on some sections (though the string spacing is the same as on Gertrude), and she was fiendishly difficult to tune precisely. I was afraid I'd miss the lower notes when I switched back to Gertrude, but my songs were composed on Gertrude, and they still sound a lot better on her (some, like "Beer is for Girls," just didn't work on the gothic harp at all).

Here are some quick and dirty clips of the same bit of music ("Rose Round") played on the same set of strings on each harp, so you can hear the profound difference (and isn't she pretty down there?).

Oh, it's good to have my harp back!  That said, Aeron's working on a gothic harp of his own, and I can't wait to see how she turns out!  If her sound is as warm and complex as this gothic harp's sweet spot, without the structural problems that make her difficult to tune and play, that will indeed be a yummy harp!  But I and my songs are very happy to have Gertrude back.

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