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Back to harps

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The scaling of my wire strung clarsachs was originally determined by studying extant examples in Ireland and Scotland, upon which all my subsequent designs were based. They have a very characteristic shape with large hollowed out soundbox; and the sound, perhaps best described as bell-like, is a product of the relatively high tension brass strings. As with most of my harps, I usually use a compromise string spacing which enables players to use a finger pad technique as well as the traditional clarsach finger nail technique. As ever do not be afraid to ask about bespoke setups. I hope you enjoy the pictures below which also include some possible decorative additions, for more see Carvings and Decorations page.

19 String

Strings Brass | Tuning g - d’’’ | Height 60cm | Weight 1.8kg (4lb)

22 String

Strings Brass | Tuning d - d’’’ | Height 70cm | Weight 2.2kg (4lb 13oz)

24 String

Strings Brass | Tuning c - e’’’ | Height 83cm | Weight 3kg (6lb 6oz)

26 String

Strings Brass | Tuning G - d’’’ | Height 95cm | Weight 3.8kg (8lb 7oz)

29 String (Queen Mary)

Strings Brass | Tuning G - g’’’ | Height 80cm


Notation: C''' - C'' - C' - c - c' - c'' - c'''
c' = middle c

Medieval/renaissance with brass strings & hollowed out soundbox, usually tuned diatonically or similar. Several sizes available.

From g Pitch From £1,500
19 Strings
Down to G Pitch From £2,700
26 Strings
Queen Mary Style G Pitch From £2,900
29 Strings

N.B. Traditionally there are no access holes in the back of the soundbox (a print out is supplied when you buy a harp with instructions on string replacement); also none of these harps are fitted with hooks, blades or sharping levers ~ these devices originated in the mid/late 17th century. Most historical harps with a single row of strings were tuned diatonically although some octaves may have been tuned to include sharps and flats if and when required. All my harps can easily be tuned to different keys although generally I do not advise raising the pitch of the entire harp without altering the string gauges, as this would greatly increase the tension on the instrument as a whole – of particular importance on clarsachs whose strings are already set at a high tension. 

I usually keep about 12 different gauges of brass wire for spares which is available to buy in 3metre coils @ £6 each.


 Sound sample

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