Tips on Looking after your Harp
1. When not in use
Leave harp on its back, so if it were to fall over, it would only fall a short way. Preferably close to a wall (not a radiator!) so access is only from one side, again reducing risk. Alternatively leave in the box with the lid open. Carry the harp with one hand inside the top soundhole and the other hand holding the top of the fore pillar. This way, in front of you, it is easier to negotiate obstacles and doorways. Avoid extreme heat or cold, constant temperature recommended.
2. When in Use
Keep harp in concert pitch, using a tuning fork or electronic tuner to check. Hold tuning key firmly in the palm of the hand and never leave it on the peg without holding. Many dents are made in the soundboard by dropping the key.Electronic tuners of course are now available and are very accurate. Use only correct strings as supplied by the maker or a good music store. Octaves start with F so the tuning is starting with the lowest string.I use SAVAREZ CARBON and they are recommended for all my harps.
5th Octave C D E
4th Octave F G A B C D E
3rd Octave F G A B C D E
2nd Octave F G A B C D E
1st Octave F G A B C D E
in Alto F G A
Total 34 Strings.
If the wrong strings are used they could increase pressure on the harp and the harp could suffer structural damage. Note: all off-cuts are supplied with the Harp, some of these are not long enough for a spare string.
If you get a buzzing or rattling sound when you pluck a certain string:
1. If the string is would, check if the winding is broken at the soundboard, the lever, bridge pin or anywhere else. A temporary remedy is to use a little nail varnish and weld the string. Replace the string as soon as possible.
2. Check inside the harp to see if anything is lying loose causing a rattle with the vibrations.
3. Check if all levers are properly engaged either up or down fully.
With time the soundboard may stretch up-wards. This causes the levers to be slightly out of tune. Using an electronic tuner, tune all the strings correctly, lay the harp on its side. If note is sharp, loosen screw, half turn and move lever up towards pin if note is sharp, move lever down, if note is flat.
Tuning Pin – Stainless Steel
Bridge Pin – Brass
If you cannot do this job yourself go to a professional instrument maker or piano tuner, or myself when possible.
Most important – enjoy the instrument and get to know “her” well. I hope I have been of service to you in getting pleasure or fortune from playing the harp.
Jan Muyllaert – Maker.