Harp making can be a wonderful and rewarding hobby. It will challenge you whether you are a physicist, an engineer, a master woodworker or a musician. Learning the craft is a challenge because we dont have comprehensive established studies that define the harp in the same way we have for the violin, guitar and piano type of instruments.
I recently bought expensive newly published books to expand my knowledge of my craft as a harp maker. They offer valuable information and explore recent studies that have been made about the harp. However they are still limited in their application. I could not say it better than Chris Waltham, who wrote the section on the Harp in The science of string instruments published by Springer, 2010.
Thus far, acoustical physicists have examined various aspects of the harp as a coupled oscillator system with many degrees of freedom. However, the quality of the harp as a musical instrument has not yet been addressed, except in very general terms. The sheer complexity of 47 strings, each vibrating in three dimensions, coupled to a soundbox with many modes of its own, makes it a forbidding problem. Much acoustical work remains to be done.
The intent of this website is to provide useful information, tools and resources to harp-makers and musicians. Our common knowledge and experience will validate our work as we become more aware of the unique attributes of the harp. I believe that a well informed and dedicate hobbyist harp maker can make quality acoustical instruments that surpass the readily available harps on the market. Let us make good sounding, playable harps. Let us discover the inherent acoustic beauty of the harp, and how it comes to be.
This project will be a work in progress as time and resources permit. Anyone is welcome to contribute to this by sending me an email.
Here are some of my reference books.
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