Looking for a high-quality harp can be quite tedious, regardless of whether you are an experienced or novice player. Further complicating things is the fact that these instruments typically come with a hefty price tag.
Grand harps can average around $30,000 to $40,000, although prices can range more broadly from $20,000 to $100,000 or more depending on factors such as brand, material, and overall quality.
In this article, we’ll take you through several essential factors that affect the overall price of a grand harp.
You’ll be in a better position to choose a grand harp that is not only within your budget, but also provides you with outstanding quality and sound.
Table of Contents
- Grand Harp Design & Craftsmanship
- Grand Harp Sizes
- Grand Harp Strings
- How Many Strings Does a Grand Harp Have?
- Types Of Harps
- Best Grand Concert Harp Brands
Grand Harp Design & Craftsmanship
When investing in a grand harp, you need to ensure that you get a model that can withstand lots of play, as well as handle being transported between different locations.
You need to keep away from cheap and inferior quality models which, despite being gentle on the wallet, get damaged quite quickly. Trust us, it won’t be worth it in the end.
Plus, these harps produce a sound that isn’t nearly as pleasing to the ear. When you combine that with the potential for paying lots of money in repair costs, it’s not a good combo.
The type of wood used in the construction of the harp is a vital factor, and affects a harp’s price. Whether the harp has been designed with solid wood or laminate wood around its soundboard and body is something to consider.
A harp player may prefer solid wood over laminate wood for several reasons. Solid wood provides a warmer and more resonant tone compared to laminate, and can age and mature over time to develop its own unique character. Plus, solid wood is more durable and can withstand the stress of regular playing better than laminate.
On the other hand, laminate wood is more affordable and can be a good option for beginners or those on a tight budget. Laminate is also less sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity, making it easier to maintain.
So you need to first assess your needs before deciding which wood will best serve you.
Also, when searching for the perfect harp, make sure to also check that the wood doesn’t have any subtle cracks, there aren’t twists on the column or neck, and the soundboard isn’t peeling from the box.
If you notice any of these signs, avoid that harp – it’s probably a looming disaster.
Grand Harp Sizes
Harps come in a broad range of sizes, largely because they incorporate a different number of strings in their design.
For example, a lever harp usually has 34 strings, whereas a concert harp has up to 47 strings.
That being said, harps can have an equal number of strings and still vary in size, depending on the design chosen by the maker. Every harp maker has a preferred design that they feel provides the best possible combination of aesthetics and sound.
The best harp size for your needs comes down to your personal preference. Just keep in mind that, typically, the bigger the harp’s size, the more costly it will be.
Grand Harp Strings
Harps typically have three different types of strings: carbon-fiber, gut, or nylon.
Carbon-fiber strings are the most durable, compared to nylon and gut strings, and generate the brightest sound. They’re also the most costly.
Gut strings are often found on pedal harps, and create a warm sound when played. They are often affected by changes in humidity and temperature, making them more susceptible to breaking.
Nylon strings, on the other hand, are usually incorporated in lever harps, and produce a bright sound. They are less expensive compared to gut strings, despite the fact that they are often more durable.
[PRO TIP: Find some harp strings that use color coding to make replacement easier. This set fits the bill.]
How Many Strings Does a Grand Harp Have?
The number of strings on a harp varies widely. It depends on both the model and the make.
If you’re more of an expert, you should opt for a harp with more strings, as this allows you to play a broad range of music. However, it’ll be more expensive compared to harps with less strings.
If you’re a novice harp player, you should probably go for a harp that has less than 26 strings. These types of harps are cheaper and easier to transport compared to more professional harps with 47 strings.
Types Of Harps
Harps come in two different main types: pedal harps and lever harps. Pedal harps incorporate seven pedals – one for every note. They can increase every string by two semitones, and are fully chromatic.
Lever harps, on the other hand, feature levers on their strings, which can increase the string by a semitone, and are diatonic.
The lever harp is more affordable compared to the pedal harp, and is probably more ideal if you are just learning to play the harp. It also comes in a perfect size, and works well with both classical music as well as some folk music.
PMV Top Pick – This harp is our top pick for beginners, not only for its quality but also for the beginner-friendly accessories that it comes with.
- Includes: Mel Bay’s Basic Harp For Beginners Book By Laurie Riley + Extra String Set & Tuning Tool
- 29 strings – 4 octaves – Perfect for beginner to intermediate students
- Note range of C3 to C7 – Color coded strings for easy play
- 29 Chelby levers – Easily change keys
- Handcrafted frame of solid wood
However, if you are willing to break the bank, you can also choose to go for the pedal harp, which is usually preferred by most more experienced harp players.
Best Grand Concert Harp Brands
Grand concert harps come with a hefty price tag, but when you actually understand these beautiful instruments, you can start to see why!
As with any new instrument purchase, make sure to do your due diligence, and vet the brand or person that you’re buying from.
How much does a grand harp cost on average?
The average cost of a grand harp is typically around $30,000 to $40,000, although prices can range from $20,000 to $100,000 or more depending on factors such as brand, material, and overall quality.
Are there any affordable grand harps on the market?
Yes, there are some affordable grand harps available, although they may not have the same level of quality or sound as more expensive options. Budget-friendly options can be found for around $20,000 or less.
What are the most expensive grand harps on the market?
The most expensive grand harps on the market can cost upwards of $100,000 or more, depending on factors such as brand, material, and overall quality.
What factors influence the cost of a grand harp?
Factors that influence the cost of a grand harp include brand, material, size, and overall quality. Other factors, such as customizations and special features, can also impact the price.
What are the best grand harp brands to consider?
Some of the best grand harp brands to consider include Salvi, Lyon & Healy, Camac, and Dusty Strings. These brands are known for producing high-quality harps with excellent sound and craftsmanship.
Can I find a used grand harp for sale?
Yes, you can find used grand harps for sale through online classifieds, musical instrument dealers, and secondhand markets. It is important to thoroughly inspect a used harp before purchasing to ensure it is in good condition.
How do I determine the right size grand harp for me?
The right size grand harp for you will depend on your personal preference and playing style, as well as your physical size and playing comfort. It is recommended to try out several different sizes before making a purchase.
Are there any additional costs associated with owning a grand harp?
Yes, there are additional costs associated with owning a grand harp, such as tuning, maintenance, and repairs. It is important to factor these costs into your budget when considering purchasing a harp.
Can I purchase a grand harp online?
Yes, you can purchase a grand harp online from a variety of retailers and musical instrument dealers. However, it is recommended to try out the harp in person before making a purchase, if possible.
How do I care for my grand harp?
To care for your grand harp, it is important to regularly tune and maintain the instrument. This includes cleaning the strings and body, and having any necessary repairs performed by a professional. Proper storage and handling can also help prolong the life of your harp.