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  • Harp Levers and Temp/Humidity

  • Marsha Enten

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Hello. I have been wondering how often on a lever harp do you put the levers down. For example, I play my harp intermittantly during the day, but at the end of the day, at bedtime, I put the levers back down. Also, I was wondering what is the preferred humidity level or range and temperature level / range for best maintaining my harp – a Lyon Healy Troubador.

  • Cynthia Griffith

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 3:03 am

    I don’t know how huge a deal it is, but I have a Fullsicle (Harpsicle), and I keep the levers down unless I’m playing it. I also tune it levers down first now (I didn’t do that orignally when I first got it), then check to see how things are and adjust if needed. I don’t currently store it in my case, but I have finally invested in a humidity/temp monitor and will be getting a humidifier soon in case it’s needed. I use one of those (what are they, damp its?) for my fiddle, but I hear many violinists aren’t too keen about putting something that has water soaked foam like that inside the wooden instrument itself, so some just find ways to humidify the case itself. Anyway, that said, I’ve noticed my harp is less cranky about temp and humidity changes than my fiddle is – those 4 pegs have been a nightmare for me, as they are all wood on wood (instead of metal turn-pin setups like my harp has)…. during one very huge “blue norther” that came through the area a few years ago in Texas (temp dropped 10-20 degrees in a short time), my fiddle’s four tuning pegs all spoun out, dropped the bridge, and the post inside fell. A luthier had to fix it. Now, if a HUGE cold front change moves through or I have the windows open on chilly days like that, I will move my fiddle (in the case) to an inner closet…. never have had to worry much about my harp. Yet. It did make creaking noises when I first got it and tuned it, and it stretched out to the belly-warping stage… but it’s been quiet ever since. The biggest issue I have ever had with my Harpsicle/Fullsicle was during the summer Random Acts of Harping (and this was in the Texas morning in the best shade I could find… still… hot!) my harp didn’t seem to want to sound tuned and my fingers slipped on the strings. I can’t speak for all harps, but it did seem to handle it better than my fiddle ever has. That said, you will learn to listen out to changes in it, and always keep it away from light, heat, and drafts. And probably not a bad idea to give the levers a break and keep them down when not played. But that’s my unskilled, self-learned, over a couple years I’ve had a harp noticing in my area. Good luck!

    • Cynthia Griffith

      Member
      2 March, 2021 at 3:04 am

      And by “playing it,” I also mean similar… sometimes my harp is out with levers up for a few hours (unless the weather changes drastically), until I am officially done with it.

  • Candace C.

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 3:44 am

    I was always told to place the levers back down when you’re done playing, even if only for a few minutes. This establishes some good habits and you’ll never forget and leave them up overnight. But I suppose the worst that could happen is you’ll wear out your strings faster. More expensive on bigger harps so try to establish those good habits now!

    .

    I went to Lowes/Home Depot and bought a $15 digital temp and humidity gauge. I have a humidifier in the room and I try to keep the harp around 50% humidity year round. This should increase the lifespan of the harp by not having the harp’s wood swell and shrink over many seasons. Perhaps not a concern for your first harp, but worth protecting your investment if you end up with the harp of your dreams someday.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Candace C..
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Candace C..
  • Sara Ghaderi

    Member
    3 March, 2021 at 12:55 am

    Hello,

    I was told to put ghe levers down when i am not playing. I have also a Lyon & Healey harp. I got this link for care of my harp with information on range of temperature and humidity, i hope it be useful for you:

    https://www.salviharps.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/salvi-harps-technical-guide_en.pdf

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sara Ghaderi.
    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by  Sara Ghaderi.
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