Let’s hear from the harp players.
It looks like it’s been years since anyone started a harp related discussion, and I’m sure a lot of things have changed since then as more harpers have joined (such as myself). So I think it’s time for a new thread.
Here are the key questions I’d like to ask. What make of harp (or harps) do you play and how many strings does it have? Do you play in sessions, and if you do, do you play the tune or accompaniment? Do you play an occasional solo at your session? What does your repertoire consist of?
As for myself. I own four harps: my first harp, a 24 string lap harp made by Magical Strings, a David Kortier student Downhill model 30 string wire strung harp, a Camac Aziliz made in 1998 (34 strings), and an Aoyama 120 made in the early 1970s (also 34 strings). The Aoyama is my pet project, I rescued it from a seller on Ebay who got it at an estate sale. I glued up all the cracks and replaced the old levers and restrung it with carbon fiber strings. It’s probably my favorite harp, but only has five years or so left before the soundboard goes. When I go to sessions I either take the Aoyama or the Aziliz as the mood strikes me.
I co-host the local session every week, and I generally play the tune. Since I host I generally know most of the tunes. If someone plays a tune I don’t know I might play chords if there isn’t a chord player, if there is I’ll probably sit out. I don’t generally do solos at my own session. If I’m at a session in another town where I don’t know the tunes I will either chord along or try and quietly catch snatches of the melody until I can get enough to play along. At such sessions I usually get asked to play a solo, which I will happily do.
I play mostly dance tunes, since that’s what I mostly get called to do. I’m on a mission to learn more ancient harp airs as well as O’Carolan tunes, but I get lazy about practicing those since I mostly play in groups and hence never get to play them anyway.
But enough about me. Let’s hear from some of the other harpers on the site.