practical news, for practical harpists

Forums » Amateur Harpists » How Old is too old?

About Forums

Welcome to the Harp Column forums. Please read the Terms and Conditions before posting. By using this forum, you agree to adhere to these terms.

Want to add links or emphasis to your posts? Read the Harp Column blog about posting shortcuts.

How Old is too old?

  • JoVi
    JoVi J

    I'm looking at buying a harp.. How old do harps typically get? How old is too old for a harp? or does it not matter?




    replies to "How Old is too old?"
    • Catherine
      Catherine Rogers

      It's not the age, it's the condition. A lot like cars.

    • Irene
      Irene C

      I'd like to put in my two cents, and it may not answer your question about the age of the harp, but maybe the age of the player.

      I was saying to my harp teacher yesterday that if anyone asked her if they should buy a new pedal harp and they are in my age bracket (over 50) to consider a used harp.

      I bought two new harps over the last 6 years (I love them both) but I am still struggling with stiff pedal changes (more so on my bigger harp).  I guess my point would be to make sure the harp is well broken in for ease in playing.  So I guess age of the harp is not as important as the condition/flexability of the harp/pedals. 

       My harp teacher has offered to "babysit" my larger harp for 3 months and work those pedals for me.  I am seriously considering it as I love the sound of my 6 year old harp, but I do not play songs that have 20-30 pedal changes and I probably never will, thus delaying "maturity".

      Hope this helps.

    • Paul
      Paul Knoke

      Condition does indeed count for a lot! I have harps that are 200+ years old that play just fine, albeit after restoration/conservation. Something that's worth bearing in mind is that if you're looking at a harp from before 1940, you should do some research on how they were meant to be strung. Putting modern strings on an old harp can lead to some big problems!

    • Catherine
      Catherine Rogers

      The stiffness of the pedal movement can be addressed somewhat by adjusting the springs. Ask your harp tech about this.

    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      Lever technology has changed quite rapidly so an older harp may be just as good as when it was made, but won't necessarily have the latest levers on.  If you are looking at second hand harps you need to decide if you like the levers on the harp, or want the expense and trouble of changing them.