One musical stringed instrument that can produce beautiful sounds when played is what we call the harp, but questions like how many strings a harp has are what people have been trying to figure out lately.
Looking at how the harp has fared over the years, you will see that its ability to produce nice sounds has helped it rise in popularity over the years. This is because there are so many professional harp players today compared to back then.
It has turned out to be one of the most sought-after instruments on the market, and you are not alone if you have been trying to figure out how many strings a harp has.
There are so many people with the same question today, and this post aims to help you find answers. First, you will agree that the musical harp instrument happens to be in a class of its own.
This is why it isn’t easy to find answers or research commonly or anywhere about the musical harp instrument. To answer your question, a musical harp instrument is designed to come with about 47 strings, and what interests everyone about these strings is they do not share the same pitch.
Beneath the neck of a musical harp instrument, you will find a lot of tension.
Concert harps have about seven pedals, and a harpist uses these pedals to produce sharp and nice notes. You can see now that the harp is worthy of being a unique member of the stringed musical instruments, and it boasts of a general shape that looks like the number seven.
Interestingly, you can tune a harp instrument the same way you tune a piano, so sounds produced will be in tune, about six feet tall.
Another fact we will like you to know about the harp is it differs in terms of construction and size. There are harps you can easily place on the laps while playing, while there are others designed to be heavy and large.
The heavy and large apps are difficult to place on the legs while playing, so the best place for you to place them is on the floor. Many people refer to playing this instrument as a heavenly gift.
This tells you that learning how to play the harp instrument is very daunting, and that is why people who play the harp perfectly are highly regarded in the world of music.
Enthusiasm and determination are things you should possess if you want to play the harp perfectly, and the strings used in harps have been a vital part of the instrument since it was first designed.
The strings present on the harp will determine the type of sound you will get, whether you are going to get a high-pitched sound or a low-pitched sound. The short answer to this question is that the number of strings also depends on the harp you intend or are playing with. We will explain this shortly.
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How Many Strings Does A Harp Have
There are various types of harp on the market, and these harps come with a different number of strings. Let is take a look at these harps below;
- Pedal harp
- Lever harp
- Celtic harp
- Lyre Harp
As we mentioned earlier, these harps come with different strings, and the pedal harp is the most common harp you will find with about forty-seven strings (47 strings).
On the other hand, the lever harp comes with thirty-four strings (34 strings), while the Celtic harp comes with twenty-two strings (22 strings). Finally, the Lyre harp comes with ten strings (10 strings).
Now that you have an idea of how many strings are on the harp, you also need to be aware of what these strings are made of. Various materials are used in making harp strings, but four materials are the most common and most reliable.
Each of these materials has its strengths and weaknesses, so it is difficult to say one material is way better than the rest.
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If you want to create hot sounds, then the material you have to go for is the gut material, and it got its name from catgut since it was designed out of an animal’s gut. You will find this type of string in lever and concert harps, but one fact about these strings is they are very sensitive to humidity.
This is why tuning the strings frequently is necessary, or you risk playing out of tune, and it can break with ease since it is made from natural material.
Another material used in making harp strings is the nylon material, and this is the string material found in classical and acoustic guitars, not just harps.
That is how popular they are, but you cannot compare the quality of sound produced by the nylon to that produced by the gut material strings. The gut material strings produce hotter sounds.
The nylon-wrapped monofilament and the monofilament are two types of nylon materials used in making harp strings, and the good thing about these materials is they all produce bright and warm tones.
Carbon is yet another quality material you can count on, moving on to the third material used in making harp strings. The combination of various polymers is used in making carbon harp strings, and these polymers all have repeating and long chains of molecules.
You can get carbon synthetically or naturally, and they tend to produce warmer and brighter sounds than the nylon strings.
The only downside about this string material type is that its quality of sound is still not up to that of the gut strings.
Wire Or Metal
You can use gold, silver, bronze, or steel to make use of wire or metal harp wires, and any of the materials you make use of has the unique sound it offers. The good thing about these material types is they do not get broken easily, and whatever sound they put out ends up being rich.
Finally, to play the harp constantly, it needs to be designed to be very strong. So you will rarely hear of a harp or its string breaking easily.
In addition to all we have said, it will interest you to note that the total amount of strings you find on a harp instrument affects the amount of tension you will get when playing the harp instrument.
My name is Johnson Lewis and I am a music coach, producer and Blogger. I enjoy writing about music, instruments, music equipments and I love helping people become better singers.