Harp vs. Harpsichord – (What’s The Difference?)

A harpsichord is a musical instrument played by the use of the keyboard.

It generates its sound by pulling a string when its key is hard-pressed.

This instrument was common, but it seized its popularity in the 18th century while the harp is a hand-pulled string device with a triangle shape and is still widely played.

Usually, the strings of the plane are perpendicular to its soundboard.

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What’s The Difference Between The Harp And Harpsichord?

Having known what they are, what is the difference between the harpsichord and the harps?


Well, the significant difference between the two is that harpsichords are played through the use of the keyboard while the harp is just but a category of musical devices.

On the other hand, the harpsichord is best known for activating several levers that later trigger and pull either a single or more strings containing a minimal spectrum.

It is used mostly in Baroque and Renaissance, but at the end of the 18th century, it slowly disappeared from the musical category due to the initiation of the piano in the music industry.

In the 20th century, this musical instrument was categorized in the old history, and it could only be used when playing old music.

How is a harpsichord different from a piano?

The sound mechanism that is different. The piano is a struck string instrument and the harpsichord is a plucked string instrument.


As for the harp, as mentioned before, it contains strings to make their way to the soundboard.

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Usually, these strings are pulled using a finger. It has been in existence since antiquity all over the world.

However, it was popularly used in the Renaissance and middle age, where it evolved and used widely since it came in various models with digital technologies.

In case your harp is minimal in size, then it means you can play it on your lap, and if it is of a maximum size, it can be quite heavy, so it is appropriate you place it on the floor.

How Are They Played?

A harpsichord generates its sound mechanically by the use of the keyboard.

This is when you dial a key, a matching plectrum, in turn, pulls a tuned string hence generating the sound while a harp has a body with a curved like neck with different length of strings that requires you to pull using your fingers.

They are also vertically positioned to your soundboard.

Harpsichord has a keyboard tool with strings horizontally placed and is perpendicular to the keyboard while harps have a frame boosting an upgraded series of strings that are parallel entertained by pulling of strings using your fingers.

Size & Appearance

However, the modernized harp you do not need to worry since it has an upright frame plus a pedal or lever which enables your strings to be resumed to varying keys while the harp contains a marine mollusk with a maximum shell which is vertically ribbed and has a large aperture.

Harpsichord is usually positioned horizontally on the legs, just like a grand piano in case you have seen one.

It comes with strings of wires that are played by your fingers while harps have a frame that is triangular shaped with strings attached plus a pedal.

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Usually, it is held upright and operated through the use of the fingers.


Based on the above information, you can now differentiate between harpsichord and harps confidently, although most people find it very difficult because it tends to be confusing sometimes.

Therefore, I hope this article will be beneficial to you. You can also go ahead and listen to the music produced by these musical instruments.

If you’re interested in learning the harp then here are the best harps for beginners.

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