The Pedal Harp (also known as a concert or classical harp)
- Appearance: A pedal harp is usually about six feet tall (bigger than a Celtic harp) and is a great option if you want to make a really elegant, sophisticated, and classy statement. My harp is made of mahogany.
- Logistics: It is a challenge to move a pedal harp due to its large size. It is especially difficult to move the harp up or down any number of steps or across uneven surfaces. My harp weights 90 pounds and I use a cart to transport it. Pedal harps are very sensitive to temperature changes and humidity. **
- Value: $15K – $126K
- Sound: A pedal harp is often louder than a lever harp, with a rich, full tone. An amp can by used to augment the volume.
- Music: Because many pop or classical pieces have key changes or accidentals (sharps or flats not included in the key signature) in the middle of the piece, a pedal harp might be your only option if you are asking for specific pop or classical pieces. Check with your harpist for specifics.
Lever Harp (also known as a folk or Celtic harp)
- Appearance: A lever harp is smaller than a pedal harp. Mine is five feet tall with natural wood. It’s a great option if you want to evoke a whimsical or enchanted atmosphere.
- Logistics: A lever harp is fairly easy to move (mine weighs 26 pounds) and is a wonderful option for outdoor weddings or events. It is less sensitive to temperature changes than the pedal harp.
- Value: $3K – $5K
- Sound: A lever harp has a medium volume (louder than most people expect, but not as loud as most pedal harps) and has a bright, magical tone. An amp can by used to augment the volume.
Music: A lever harp can play any music with minimal key changes or accidentals. This includes some classical pieces (such as Canon in D by Pachelbel and many other popular wedding selections) but in general is well suited to Celtic pieces, Renaissance music, and folk songs
- Appearance: The Cláirseach is the smallest of Hannah’s harps. It is strung with wire strings and has a sparkling clear tone. Hannah uses this harp mainly to perform early music from the British Isles as well as to accompany herself singing.
- Value: $2K – $4K
- Sound: The Cláirseach has a unique bright ringing tone that is unlike the concert or lever harp due to its wire strings. It has been the national symbol of Ireland for centuries and was the predominant harp of the Gaelic tradition before almost dying out in the 19th Fortunately, the harp has seen a revival in the last few decades both in America and in the British Isles.
- Music: Since the Cláirseach is an ancient instrument; it is best suited for performing music written for the instrument in centuries past. Modern players owe a great debt to collectors such as Edward Bunting for notating and preserving some of the music of this ancient tradition so that it can still be played and performed in the 21st