February 20, 2010

The Best of All Possible Loaner-Harps


This is a gothic harp.  Harps like this were the standard in Europe during the late middle ages - around the 14th through 16th centuries.  She has 24 gut strings starting an octave below Gertrude's lowest note, and she has a gorgeously complex tone!  She's quieter than my nylon-strung Gertrude, of course, but not by nearly as much as I'd expected.  Her strings are also, of course, looser than Gertrude's (gut tends to be), which is taking a bit of adjusting to - I can't rip the hell out of her in the loud bits like I did Gertrude.  She has brays, but they're so stiff and difficult to turn on and off, I'm just leaving them all off.

I was offered this by contacts through the school of music - the professor in charge of the Early Music Ensemble set it up for me, and I'm sooooooo glad he did!  Aeron should have a new neck and pillar done for Gertrude in a couple of weeks, but I think I'll keep playing this harp with the Early Music Ensemble for the rest of the semester, and bring Gertrude to events.  She's just that cool, and that period.  And so gorgeous!

D's been working on one much like this in our living room for a while now.  His will be shorter (a good thing - this one is just too large to hold in my lap the way I like to), but the same range (don't ask me how that works - I do languages, not physics).  The joinery will be better, and the brays more usable, thanks in part to having this one to look at.

I'll be at Bardic Madness next weekend, able to play all of my songs on this harp.  Even "Beer is for Girls."  I am pleased and excited!

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