Think Differently about Double-Strung Harps
Whenever you’re choosing your double strung harps, it would look like choosing any other harp. However, there are some things that it is advisable to know that are totally different concerning the double-strung harp, it has some different advantages that it is best to learn about before you go shopping. So, before you measure your car seats, and check your budget, let’s discuss these differences.
One vital factor to know is that the double-strung harp is more effective than single-row harps whenever you’re dealing with a smaller range. Actually, it sounds bigger than its footprint. The overtones from the extra row of strings provide you with extra sound, and that makes it sound bigger than it truly is.
Additionally, the bass or lower strings can sound kind of muddy if you end up echoing them or playing them in a double harp effect down low. So it’s really advantageous to have a smaller double-strung harp, rather than a bigger one because it’s going to sound better all through the full extent of its range.
It’s Not All About the Bass
This now brings us to our next question. We hear this on a regular basis: “Won’t I miss the bass strings, if it’s a smaller harp?”(By the way, I’ve got to share this: one among my superfans has an excellent comeback answer to the range question: “Do flute players miss the bass notes?” Well, in fact not. They don’t.)
So, take into consideration a guitar: 6 strings, right? Possibly 12? Or take into consideration different sizes of instruments within the string family or the wind families. These are completely different instruments, and so they have totally different ranges.
And so with double-strung harps, if they have a smaller range, that doesn’t make it any LESS of a regular normal harp. It simply makes it a DIFFERENT harp, with a unique approach to playing the harp, and a unique approach to the music that you simply play on it. It doesn’t make it any less important, simply because it has a smaller range.
What Do YOU Want?
Now that we’ve talked about these differences between the double-strung harp, and what you may have to know before you begin purchasing, let’s also speak about YOUR needs: your lifestyle, your body, and your musical needs.
And we’ll begin along with your body and lifestyle. If you’re searching for a double-strung harp, take into consideration things like the place and how are you going to play it? Where are you going to keep it and store it? Do you have to move it anywhere? How would you transport it? That kind of thing.
Double-Strung Harp Size and Range
There are three basic categories for size and range while you’re speaking about music for a double-strung harp:
- The smaller category of range can deliver you up to 24 x 2 strings. The lowest note is normally F or G below middle C, however, it might sometimes be a little bit lower than that.
- Medium-sized double-strung harps are normally in the 26 or 27 x 2 range, and their lowest string goes right down to the C below middle C.
- The biggest of the double-strung harp family goes anywhere from 29 to 34 x 2 strings. This may add up to an octave lower to the medium-sized category.
YOUR Musical Needs
Now let’s speak about your musical needs. What kind of music do you wish to play on your double-strung harp? It lends itself to every kind of music; actually, anything that you just play on a single-row harp, you can play on a double-strung harp.
However, you might need to begin thinking about range a little bit in a different way: how many strings, and how high and low do they go? You would possibly need to think about: do you absolutely need to play the music as written, with these notes in the lower range of your harp (similar to those in your single row harp library, for example)? Or, are you able to be flexible with adapting music for your double-strung harp, that matches in a different range?
Why Play Double?
Your hands do not run into one another. In case you’ve played the “regular” (single-course) harp for a very long time, you won’t even notice that you simply make adjustments in your arrangements to stop your left hand from overlapping notes in your right hand. On a single-course harp, when you’re doing a C chord in your left, but your right hand is playing C within the melody, you need to be sure your left thumb does not hit your right finger. This does not happen on a double-strung. That is probably the most difficult difference to explain to somebody who isn’t familiar with harps, however, it’s my primary reason for loving the double-strung.
Better-sounding repeated notes. For songs with a lot of repeated notes, you’ll be able to split the playing between two rows, so that you don’t need to dampen the same string to play it once more.
Less mid-song lever changing. Set your accidentals on one side so that you don’t need to flip in the middle of a track.
More resonance. Doubling the same strings provides a fuller harp sound, as a result, there are more strings to vibrate sympathetically.
Special effects. Echo yourself by playing the same melody with both hands (think about what bisbigliando sounds like). Play the same notes at the same time for more volume.
Twice the strings in half the space. Make arrangements for a bigger harp and move the left hand up an octave.
Don’t forget that a double-strung harp is a DIFFERENT harp, with DIFFERENT benefits, and various things to consider before you go shopping. And in addition, since “less is often more” after we’re speaking about range, it might be that you don’t want a larger harp to begin with. Actually, that could be to your advantage, to start out with a small one. And if that helps your budget, if it lets you join the club sooner, I believe that’s an excellent idea!