How Many Strings Does An Orchestra Harp Have?

Looking at an orchestra harp, how many strings does an orchestra harp have? Are you familiar with the orchestra harp? When did it come into use? Continue reading for answers.

One fact about the modern harp is it has a different look and feel compared to harps that were used in the past. This tells you that the instrument has been upgraded from what it used to be, so everything about the harp looks and feels more modern now than it used to.

Even though harps have been in use for so many years, they were not used in orchestra music until the nineteenth century. It started being used when a pedaling system was designed which allowed the person playing the harp to easily tune while playing.

Doing this converts the harp into a full chromatic system, but one thing you need to know about the harp is it isn’t a very loud musical instrument.

This doesn’t mean the sounds produced by a harp doesn’t have the ability to penetrate, and this is one you will find one harp being played in a small sized orchestra, while two harps can be played at large sized orchestras.

If you want to change the 47 strings on the harp, you are going to rely on the seven foot pedals on it. This makes it easy for the harp to play chromatic notes, but the player needs to give the pedal enough time in order to make changes.

Taking a look at how the harp is designed, you will agree that it is a very beautiful instrument. This instrument is very good at producing beautiful sounds, and the harp is designed to come with about 47 strings.

Now the beauty of the strings on the harp is each strong produces a pitch of its own, and you are going to find so much tension underneath the neck of the harp instrument.

The harp belongs to the family of stringed instruments, and its shape is similar to that of the number 7. You will be surprised at how tall a harp is as it measures about six feet in height, and all of its forty seven strings do not have the same length.

Interestingly, you can tune the harp the same way you tune the white keys on the piano musical instrument, but there are different types of harp with their respective number of strings. Let us take a look at them.

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How Many Strings Does An Orchestra Harp Have?

How Many Strings Does An Orchestra Harp Have?

The absolute number of strings on an orchestra harp is something that nobody will talk to you about, and this is because there is no definite answer to it. The number of strings you will find on any harp depends on the type of harp you are dealing with, so let us take a look at the types of harp you are likely to come across.

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Lever Harp

The first type of harp we want to talk about is the lever harp, and it got its names based on the fact that there are levers present on every string.

This makes it possible for every harpist to play different notes on any harp string, and the fun fact about lever harps is they come with thirty four strings. This is likely the highest number of strings you are going to find on all of the harp types.

You will have to make use of both hands when you want to play the lever harp, and this is necessary if you want to reach all of the strings and levers.

You can also make mistakes when playing and trying to adjust notes simultaneously, and this is why you will find this type of hands more in the hands of beginners as it teaches them all they need to know about playing the harp musical instrument.

Pedal Harp

This is what everybody refers to as the modern day harp, and this is the type of harp that comes with about forty seven strings. Though there are some that eventually come with forty six strings, but there are other differences between the pedal and lever harp apart from their number of strings.

You can tell from the name of the pedal harp that it comes with several pedals for you to deal with when playing, while the lever harp only comes with two pedals.

The Celtic Harp

The next type of harp we want to talk about is the Celtic Harp, and this is the harp that comes with an average of thirty strings on it. The actual number of strings on the Celtic harp is going to depend on what model you are going for, because there are Celtic harps that come with as low as twenty two strings, while others have thirty eight strings.

Electric Harp

This is simple a lever harp with an electric power source, but new models of the Electric harp that are designed today have the frame of the pedal harp. You will find a very solid body construction on the electric harp, which you will not find in its acoustic version. There are about forty to forty seven strings on the electric harp, same as pedal harps.

Multi-Course Harp

Still on the types of harps we have today and their number of strings, we will be taking a look at the multi-course harp. Now this is one harp that has several unique features like having a multiple row of strings. The harp is also known to have double row of strings in some cases, and you will find triple neck row in others.

Just like the pedal harp, you are going to find about forty six strings on the multi-course harp. This means that a harp with two row of strings is going to have about twenty three strings on each side, meaning opposite strings are going to share the same note when played.

Lap Harp

We will be rounding off this list with the lap harp, and this is one that is placed on the lap when playing it. You can see that its name came from how its played, and they tend to have about eighteen strings since they are very small in size. There are some that comes with fifteen strings, while the highest you will find in twenty two strings.

How Many Strings Does An Orchestra Harp Have? – Frequently Asked Questions

How Heavy Is A Harp?

  • The weight of a harp is going to depend on the type of harp you have in your hands, but a typical harp is going to weight between 75 to 90 pounds

Are Harps Loud?

  • One thing about harps is they are not really loud instruments like we mentioned earlier in this post, but the sounds its produces has the ability to penetrate

How Tall Is A Harp?

  • It can be difficult to tell this as harps comes in various sizes and varieties which you won’t find in most instruments. Bearing this in mind, harps tend to be as tall as 25 to 76 inches tall.



Now, you should have the answer to the question regarding how many strings does an orchestra harp come with. We hope that you found this post and every information in it useful, so we will be looking forward to your comments and thoughts in the comment section of this post.