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Troubadour III and Advice

  • Alyson
    Alyson Robinson

    Hello Harpists!  My daughter is 13 years old and has been playing piano for 5 years.  She started playing the harp not quite 6 months ago.  We have been renting a Triplett folk harp during this time.  She has progressed very quickly and she is needing to move to a fully levered harp.  If we rent/purchase a fully levered harp,  it is my understanding from her teacher (very highly regarded) that my daughter will likely move on to a pedal harp within a year.  We found a used Troubadour III harp in very good condition for $2,400.00.  I've searched and Googled, and can't find many Troubadour IIIs for sale, so I am unsure if this is a fair price or not.  It would need to be regulated, and has a few strings missing.  Should we get a new, rather than used Troubadour?...Would a Prelude be a better investment?   We know that my daughter is committed to the harp and practicing, so we are willing to make an investment.  Any advice regarding the harp (or otherwise) is greatly appreciated!   

    replies to "Troubadour III and Advice"
    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      It's a bit high for a troub that old that's not in excellent shape, in this current market. As an example, a student of mine recently got an almost-new Pratt (more like a prelude) for 2K.

      In your situation, I'd consider the fact that many harp shops will give you the full value of a new lever harp you buy from them on a trade up to a pedal harp if you buy it from them.

    • Kreig
      Kreig Kitts

      If your daughter does move to pedal harp within a year, $2400 comes to $200 per month, not including new strings etc. That's more

      than a rental would cost and most harp stores will give part of your rental towards a pedal harp purchase. Unless you want to keep that harp around after she's playing pedal, it doesn't sound like a hood investment for your purposes.

    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      But if you buy a 2nd hand harp at a fair price you can surely sell it on again for what you paid leaving the monthly cost considerably under that of rental.

    • Philippa
      Philippa mcauliffe

      Remember that many harpists do not sell on their lever harp even if they go to pedal.  There is a large repertoire for lever harp of all kinds of music, they are more portable, fit in a smaller space when you play in a small venue, fit in pretty much any car and lots of people still like to keep both. 

      Then you have the fact that she is 13.  Mine is 11.  I only let the pedal harp go to school on special occasions with 100% attendence by one of us and locked in head of music's room until the just before the event.  I do take it to symphony orchestra for her at the special interest high school but I deliver it and I pick it up and I stay until the rehearsal starts and they are all in place.  You cant treat it like a precious jewel and yes, its insured  but we live on the other side of the world from our pedal harp maker and I dont fancy dealing with a major accident. 

      The lever harp goes all the time and stays there all day.  It does assemblies, accompanies choir and plays in orchestra and ensembles.  That is not to say that you can't damage a lever harp (see photo of damaged neck recently posted)  but our fancy newfangled carbon fibre/spaceshuttle material Andrew Thom has been pushed over twice at school, once onto concrete,  and come up again totally fine.  Anyone over about 5ft can move it easily.  I would be thinking hard what you are going to want from this harp apart from practice at home. 


    • Alyson
      Alyson Robinson

      Thank you, Geogina... Very good points and lots to think about!  I appreciate your (and all) thoughtful responses and time.

    • Philippa
      Philippa mcauliffe

      It's a great instrument Alyson and the attractions are very obvious but there is no getting around the fact that it's not the most convenient for the parent.       I am a cellist and thought that was inconvenient so I was keen for any  instrument that fits in a hard box held by one hand and can go on your knee in a crowded bus/car/plane/taxi.  Daughter had other ideas and clearly your daughter is the same.  

      I am putting learning the harp onto my retirement plan but by that time she will probably have taken both hers off somewhere else and I will have to buy yet another to live with me.   A Webster harp would be very high on my list if I were to desert the local makers here in Australia.    I am sure that there is enough lever repertoire to see me throught the rest of my life but then no doubt I too will have the urge to play something  at some point that "needs" pedals too!