Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Harping Away

Yesterday afternoon I ordered the materials to build three new harps. I had just come home from playing my 29 string harp at a funeral. Because I had focused so much on my writing this past year I had stopped practicing the harp every day. Four days before the funeral, when I was called and asked to play, I accepted eagerly. Two days later I thought I was going to have blisters on my finger-tips. No amount of catch-up practicing could make up for all those long months that my harp sat in the corner.

Never again. I'm going to practice the harp every day for the rest of my life.

My performance at the funeral went well, and now because of the nice thick callouses I've built up over the last few days I can barely feel the keys under my fingers as I type. After the funeral I got lots of nice comments. It was wonderful to think that an instrument I'd built with my own hands was able to bring peace and comfort to so many people. One of my friends who was there told me she'd always wanted to learn the harp. I had been thinking of building some more harps this fall, so that clinched my decision. Once the three harps are done I will sell them or rent them out to students. There should be more harps in the world!

And this morning, what rolled me out of bed was not some sentence I felt I had to restructure, but a need to know exactly what the angle between the soundboard and the strings should be. Hooray for the internet! The answer: between 30 and 40 degrees, closer to 30 for a modern concert harp.

For more info on how to build a harp, visit my How to Build a Harp page.

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