Choose An Early Instrument Maker To Guide You Through The Process

Recreating, replicating, repairing or renovating an early instrument is something drawn from a wonderous ideal: to have a working, functioning, beautiful instrument to use and appreciate. The whole process from start to finish when you choose an early instrument maker will take a number of weeks or months and, as with all creations like this, it comes with a foreshadowing tale of ‘good things come to those that wait’.

My work and study as a luthier has guided towards unearthing and discovering the miniscule features and attributes that makeup early instruments of their particular time. Historically correct, or ‘informed’ instruments are now sought-after the world over, again, by discerning musicians wishing to recreate the music of harps, lutes, guitars and others from previous time periods that were superseded by other forms in the interim. If you are searching for an early instrument maker, here are four of the challenging yet rewarding steps I usually go through when replicating or creating a bespoke harp, for example:

  1. Drawings: A bespoke early instrument service from myself George Stevens will not merely be about shipping the same design over and over again. My drawings will help to establish the time period and the minute and unique features of the harp and take into consideration any personal tuning requirements the player may have.  

  2. Choosing the wood:  My work as an early instrument maker puts a great onus on selecting and understanding which wood is right for each design and function within that design. This choice will give the whole instrument the platform for its sound and personality.

  3. Cutting and gluing: The hardest and most challenging aspect of creating a historically informed harp is the carving and hollowing of the soundbox. It is something that may well vary slightly with every single bespoke harp I create, no matter how similar the design.

  4. Delivery and settling in the new harp: Over the course of a couple of weeks finish coats and layers are applied, stringing, tuning and adjustment attended to, leaving you with a harp that looks and sounds great. Once delivered, you can begin to enjoy the sound as it develops and becomes unique in its own special way.

If you are interested in discussing your early instrument options with myself, contact George Stevens Luthier today.

George Stevens