I come on this forum out of despair; let me explain very quickly.
A few years ago I decided I’d want to try to learn to play the harp, and asked my parents for one at Christmas (I think it was in 2012). Since neither me neither them knew anything about the instrument, I ended up with – you guessed it – a Pakistani harp. I didn’t notice before a few months that it was of low quality, and since then it is a big frustration in my life.
I thought about waiting a few years before buying an actual harp, but I can’t see when I will be able to afford it. I have been considering the possibility to buy a cardboard harp, which are inexpensive and maybe not as beautiful as wooden harps but would at least allow me to actually play. But I still kind of grew attached to my rosewood, cheap, badly sounding Pakistani harp and wondered if there was a way to improve it.
I think I would have to change the strings entirely – or at least those who were heavily damaged by the levers. I also considered removing the levers altogether, though this saddens me to have a lever harp without levers, since they are impossible to move while playing anyway. But I suspect this would not change anything to the fact that the strings quickly move out of tune while playing, nor to the fact that the highest pitched notes sound really bad.
Thus my question is: do you have any suggestions? A non-harpist friend of mine (but a musician who built his own guitar) suggested that I should keep some of the wooden parts to re-use them in rebuilding a harp, and mostly change the soundboard – is that a good solution? Did anyone manage to make something good out of a Pakistani harp? Or should I just keep it as a souvenir and use it as decoration only, and either try one of those cardboard harp kits or continue to save money in order to buy a real good harp someday?