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Harps are unique instruments with a deep history in many countries. At Gear4music we stock a wide range of Harps, browse by type, string number and colour to find the best harp to suit your playing.
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The harp instrument is a versatile stringed musical instrument, traditionally made from wood, that can be played either sitting or standing depending on its size and the preference of the musician.
Harps vary greatly in size, from small lap instruments to grand concert harps, also known as pedal harps, which often feature as the centrepiece in orchestral compositions and solo concerts. Harps are all different sizes and are equipped with pedals and sometimes multiple rows of strings, allowing for a broader range of notes and intricate harmonies.
Historically, the earliest known harps, dating back to 2500 BCE, were discovered in Sumer, and early variants of this enchanting instrument are still played in Myanmar and parts of Africa today. The repertoire of the harp is extensive, accommodating various types of harp including Celtic, folk, and lever harps. These midsize harps usually have levers that modify the pitch of the strings, allowing the instrument to be tuned to different scales and keys. Harps can have a range from two to six octaves and offer multi-course varieties featuring multiple parallel rows of strings for more complex music. In contrast to lever harps, chromatic strung harps achieve semi-tones not through the use of pedals but with additional strings. Furthermore, technological advancements have introduced electric harps, augmenting traditional sound with electronic amplification.
Typically triangular, harps create a resonance that is achieved by plucking the strings, which may be made of gut, wire, or synthetic materials, with the fingers. The pitch of each string is determined by several factors: the tension applied to it, its weight, and the length of the string, which is defined by the distance between the tuning peg and the soundboard. Traditional harps for sale are tuned by adjusting these pegs, allowing each note to resonate perfectly within a performance.
There are many different Harp types, including lever, pedal, and electric harps, among others. Lever harps are fantastic for beginners, while pedal harps suit classical music. Electric harps offer amplified sound for modern performances.
Harps are used for providing a soft and warm tone, they are great for a variety of musical ensembles from solo performances to orchestral concerts. They are versatile instruments that enhance various musical styles with their rich and ethereal tones.
A lap or lever harp is ideal for a beginner. These smaller, lighter instruments are easier to manage and are perfect for learning the basics before moving to larger pedal harps. For an adult beginner, they should opt for a floor size 30-34 string, while a smaller child should opt for a floor-length 28-string harp.