Kortier Electric Pedal Harp

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Acoustic Electric Pedal Harp

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Electric Lever Harps

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The next logical step in pedal harp development is a true electric pedal harp. By this, we mean a harp that is not acoustic, has no soundbox.

Think about it- the reason we need massive strings on our pedal harps is to supply the huge energy needed to set the massive acoustic soundboxes into motion. The reason we need such large and heavy soundboxes is to withstand the huge tension of the pedal harp strings. The reason our joints and tendons give out is from pushing and pulling this system around year after year.

But what about Harp Sound?

The acoustic soundbox has a profound effect on the sound of any given harp. What we hear is the character of the resistance presented to the strings and how efficiently the energy from the strings is radiated from the surfaces of the soundbox. A solid body harp can be engineered to present the same tensions to the strings, and the radiation of the resulting vibrations (the sound) is taken care of by the pickups. With pickups against all the strings, all vibrations are converted instantly into sound, nothing is lost, there is very little inertia to overcome. It is possible to obtain delightful harp sound using a greatly scaled back system. Think in terms of lighter gauge strings, easier to pull, capable of more nuance.

To take this next step (something the guitar world did generations ago), I am building pedal harps without soundboxes, true electric pedal harps.

The first Kortier Electric Pedal Harp available for sale is this 40 string instrument, larger than most lever harps, but smaller than most pedal harps. This instrument will be particularly useful to jazz harpists and others who love the harp but want an instrument that is a better visual look, and is more accomodating to the venues they most often play in.

A further option is the addition of MIDI controller capability. The electric pedal harp is particularly suited to implementing this exciting possibility. The MIDI software is installed on your PC with an interface box to route the audio from the harp into the computer, and to route the synthesized sounds back out of your computer. What this means is that you can play with normal harp sound, with synthesized sound, or with a combination of the two. The possibilites are without limit.

The advantages of a solid body electric pedal harp apply to all harpists however.

If you feel the solid body electric pedal harp is too "high tech" for you, consider an acoustic/electric pedal harp. I have one in stock ready to ship at the moment. Click here for details.