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Busy Mole Harps

  • Folk
    Folk Harpie

    Hello everyone,

    since I'm a newbie here, I hope I won't make a mess!

    I've been looking somewhere else in the forums but it seems that there isn't any topic about this subject.

    So the question is: does anyone knows the harps made by Busy Mole Music? They're makers of small harps, lyres & psalteries, Derbyshire based. I've had a look at the harp section of their website, they sell the usual mid-east round back harps, that awful stuff that seems to be everywhere lately. But there's another section where they show their own harps. I'd be glad to know something more about their instruments, they look interesting...well, at least some of them!

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    replies to "Busy Mole Harps"
    • Tea
      Tea S-K

      I own one of their bardic harps as my second harp(my primary harp is a great sounding 34 floorharp from blevins). I is not a masterpiece a all, but it is fine to bring along everywhere where I would hesitate to bring something more expensive. camping, weekendtrips to family and so on. The reason for buying this was it small size, it's ability to be used in middleage themed festivals and it's price.
      As said it is not a masterpiece and not very loud and on mine the two lowest strings are a bit too loose. Keep in mind the number of strings - very few pieces play well with both hands om this one(but they are out there especially middleage ones), but the right hand pattern can often be praticed normally. In ears of nonmusicans in my family( how have never heard a harp) it sounds enchanting when I play at it. Keep in mind that it will take time to get it since he makes it himselfand I think it is partly a hobby for him, but good service.
      To sum up you get what you pay for, but the bardic harp is completely durable as a 19 string harp to bring risky places  amd nicely middleage like and petite but do not waste levers or gut strings on it in my opinion.
      But I love to sit outside in the summer and play small melodies and folksongs on my petite harp.
      Hope it is helpful information

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    • Folk
      Folk Harpie

      Thanks a lot Tea, that's exactly what I wanted to hear. I know that on a lap harp you can play only a small part of your repertoire, but that's enough since it would be just a whim. I often play in castles or Renaissance fairs, I've always been using my 34 strings floor harp, but it's definitely too big and too heavy to carry up and down. That's why I'm considering the idea of a smaller harp, wich would be enough for a medieval repertoire.

      I take it that you have nylon strings on your harp...interesting, I was thinking about gut strings to have a better, mellow tone.

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    • Tea
      Tea S-K

      I have nolyn string out of two reasons, first because I was looking for a harp as cheap as possible and the gut strings are much more expensive(at the time money was small) and second the gut strings are without colouring as I remember - no blue F's or red C's just like it was back then. How they sound I can not tell but it would proberly be more medieval like with gut. I will maybe later change to gut strings(it should be possible he informed). Remember as I wrote before that this is not a loud harp, keep this in mind if you plan to play places with a lot of noise. I have not yet had it with me at medieval fairs - I have not had the courage or repertoire yet to do it.

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    • Tea
      Tea S-K

      As extra information people at "http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/" forum maybe know more about historic instruments. Busy mole are also a member of this forum

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    • Folk
      Folk Harpie

      Oh. If gut strings are still without colouring, it may be a problem...so perhaps it's better to choose nylon strings.

      I was pretty sure that being a small harp, it probably wouldn't have had a big resonance, but in your opinion Tea, is it less loud than other small harps?

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    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      Coloured markers above and below where you pluck the strings should be enough for you to know where you are.

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    • Tea
      Tea S-K

      I can not tell if the bardic harp is less resonant than other small harps since it is the only small harp I have heard in real life, all other harps I have heard in real life are all floor harps, so I can not tell.
      If you live near me you can come by and try it - but the odds are low since I live in Denmark - but maybe you can take a trip to the maker if you live close by

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