Back to the Celtic Harp Main Page    Buying A Harp

For info on rentals and used harps, click here.
For cases, kits and harp accessories, click here.

The following is an excellent bit of advice courtesy of Roger Muma Musical Instruments, London, ON, Canada. Below it you can find links to various harp makers and resalers in Canada and around the world (organized by country and state/province).

What to Look for when Buying a Harp
For some commonly asked questions, see our FAQ page. If you're stumped as to what type of harp to get (lever? pedal? big or small?), click here for info on types of harps and prices.

" The first thing to realize when you are looking for your first folk harp is that it is a musical instrument. One must try to look beyond the romance and glamour of harping - bards of old and strolling minstrels, etc. - and focus on the musical qualities of the instrument. Other things being equal, sound is everything! There is no substitute for actually hearing the instrument that you are considering. The glowing words of praise that are written in flyers and catalogues should not be taken at face value. Everyone makes the " best harps in the world "!

" The materials that are used in the crafting of a harp make the difference in the quality of the sound. For centuries the wood of choice for sounding boards has been quarter-cut spruce. For nylon or gut strung harps there is no substitute that is worth considering. Laminated wood or plywoods are sometimes used in inexpensive instruments, but in comparison one would find that they give a harp a muffled, unfocused sound. [Note: there are occasionally exceptions to this one; I have personally heard instruments that do not follow these criteria that still have a wonderful sound - T.H.] You can get away with using laminated wood in little harps, because the dulling effect of the laminate mediates the shrillness of the harps.

" Next in importance to sound is the feel of the strings. This relates to the tension that the harp was designed to withstand. If a string is too slack it will be hard to " find ", sharping levers will not give a clear tone and the overall sound will not be clear. In talking with the maker you should try to determine if s/he seems to know what design criteria to use in the making of a good harp. Ask if the designs are original or borrowed from some other maker. Ask if the harps are made from kits. Unfortunately some makers are using kits and not telling customers that this is the case. A harp from a kit is often compromised as a musical instrument because both materials and construction techniques are inappropriate. Most kits are easy to assemble, are inexpensive and if bought for the right reasons can be made into good starting instruments.

" Another question to consider is whether the harp has sharping levers. A full set is the most useful in the long run, but sometimes you can save money by ordering the harp with only levers for C's and F's. Also make sure that the harp uses harp style (tapered) tuning pins. Those that use " zither " type tuning pins will eventually wear to the point that they will not hold their tuning. [Note: The most popular levers currently are Loveland levers. I have a set on both my harps and they work very well. A more recent design can be found in Truitt levers, which some claim are just as good if not better than Loveland. - T.H.] Remember that most makers actually do enjoy answering your questions, so don't be afraid to ask. "





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Links to Harp Makers and Companies
Note: The majority of the following have mail-order catalogues and/or online shops, and will ship harps to other locations; also some of the bigger names, such as Triplett and Dusty Strings, are carried by numerous music stores across North America.   Sites marked with an asterix (*) are bilingual or muli-lingual.

Search By Country:
Austria  /  Australia  /  Canada  /  England  /  France  /  Germany  /  Ireland  /  Israel  /  Italy
Scotland  /  Spain  /  Switzerland  /  U.S.A.  /  Wales

CANADA (by province) AB / BC / MA / NS / ON

Alberta
John Dorman Musical Instruments - Edmonton

British Columbia
Josephus Harps - Vancouver Island
Gerhard Wanney - Saltsea, Vancouver Island - click here for a review of Gerhard's harps
West Coast Harps

Manitoba
C. F. Casey Guitars & Harps - Winnipeg Beach
Fisher Harps - Winnipeg

Nova Scotia
Eastcoast Harpshop - Halifax
Timothy Harps

Ontario
Classical Harp Academy - Distributor of Lyon & Healey, Salvi, Dusty Strings, and Triplett harps; also rentals
David Cureton, Luthier - Gravenhurst
Harp.ca, Eastern Canada's Distributor of Salvi Harps - Toronto
The Harp Nest (Dianne Broughton) - London
Roger Muma Musical Instruments - London
Random Sound Musical Instruments, Don Peddle
Stanley & Stanley Harpmakers -Kingston
Vixen Harps



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U.S.A.(by state)   C  /  F  /  G  /  H  /  I  /  K  /  M  /  N  /  O  /  P  /  T  /  V    W

California
Folk Mote Music - Santa Barbara (Sometimes has used harps for sale as well)
Harps Etc. - Walnut Creek
Dreamsinger Harps by Muis
Salvi Harps (California)
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
Triplett Harps - San Luis Obispo

Colorado
Blevins Harps - Grand Junction
Highland Harps of Colorado - Fort Collins
Kolacny Music - Denver
R Harps - Denver

Connecticut
Waring Harps (Cardboard Harps) - Willimantic

Florida
Celestial Wind Handmade Harps by John Chambers - Hawthorne

Georgia
Robert Cunningham Instrument Makers - Atlanta

Hawaii
Bonnie Mitchell - new & used harps, Kealakekua
Eastern-Celtic Electronic Harps - no web page info available at this time


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Idaho
Allen Tefft Celtic Harps & Psalteries - no web page info available at this time

Illinois
Lyon & Healy Harps - Chicago
Swanson Harp Company - Joliet

Indiana
Argent Fox Music
Harpsicle Harps
Jublilee Harps (specializing in Kinnors)
Wm. Rees Instruments - Rising Sun

Iowa
Rick Stanley

Kentucky
Another Era Lutherie, Craig R. Pierpont - Edmonton

Maine
Song of the Sea - Bar Harbor

Massachusetts
Silvershell Musical Instruments, Al Winters - Marion
Swanson Harp Company - East Boston

Michigan
Lewis Creek Instruments - Brighton
Michigan Harp Center - Clawson
Webster String Instruments (Bill Webster) - Warren


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Minnesota
David Kortier - Duluth
Musicmakers - Stillwater
Stoney End Harps

New Hampshire
Electric Harp - Nashua

New Mexico
Harps Of Lorien - Questa

New York
The Harp and Dragon - Cortland

North Carolina
Heartland Harps

Ohio
Noteworthy Woodworking (Jeff Gaynor) - Rootstown

Oregon
Mountain Glen Custom Harps - Phoenix
Sandpiper Instruments - Coquille
Silverwood Harps - Lowell
Thormahlen Harps - Corvallis

Pennsylvania
Planet Harp - Macungie


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Texas
Melody's Traditional Music and Harp Shoppe

Vermont
Lynne Lewandowski, Harps for Early Music - Bellows Falls

Virginia
James Jones - Musical Instruments - Bedford

Washington
Blessley Instruments - Vancouver
Dusty Strings
The Enchanted Harp, Puyallap
Magical Strings - Seattle

West Virginia
Steen Harp Company - Roderfield




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AUSTRIA
* Norbert Maier "Elvenkings-harp" (German & English)


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AUSTRALIA
Harps & Harps - Brandden Lassells, luthier - W Gosford NSW
Denwar Harps - sales & rentals - Bellingen, NSW


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ENGLAND
Busy Mole Harps (incl. historical harps, other instruments) - Hilton, Derbyshire
Clive Morley Harps Ltd.
Dolphin Harps - Cottingham
Pilgrim Harps - Surrey
George Stevens


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FRANCE
* Alfaric harps, maker of trad. Clairseachs (Gaelic/wire harps) (French & English)
* CAMAC Production (French & English)
le Magasin de la Harpe - Paris
Murray Wire Harps, Phillip Murray

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GERMANY
* Frank Sievert (German & English)
Bernhard Schmidt / Harfenbau (German, some pages trans. to Eng.)


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IRELAND
The Historical Harp Society of Ireland - Accurate replicas of extant Early Irish harps
Jan Muyllaert - Co. Meath


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ISRAEL
Harrari Harps - Biblical Harp Makers


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ITALY
Palette Chromatic Harps, Massimiliano Mirra (no current web page available)
Salvi Harps (Italy)


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SCOTLAND
Ardival Harps - Ross-shire
Macdonald Harps Skye - Handcrafted Clarsachs using only windblown & sustainable woodland timber from the Scottish Highland - Portnalong, on the west coast of the Isle


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SPAIN
German Ocana, Barcelona - in Spanish (with some Eng. & Ger. translations)

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SWITZERLAND
Claude Bioley (Gaelic/Wire, Gothic, Celtic) - French language only (en Francais)


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WALES
Alun Thomas
* Pencerdd Harps - Penarth; (Welsh & English)
* Telynau Teifi, The Harp Centre of Wales - Harp sales, hire & accessories (Welsh & English)


Didn't find what you want here? Check out Mike Nielsen's "Harplust" Page, which has a long list of harp makers from around the world, or try The Harp Mall at www.harpmall.com

 
Web www.celticharper.com