Antique Harps

The early harps were made with curved bottoms so that they rested lightly on your shoulder and moved with you as you played.   A friend of mind in Haworth had one dated 1786 with 3 beautiful painted panels fastened down the back.  A nightmare to change strings though.  We only had to replace one once and we threaded the string through the hole at the front and used a crochet hook sellotaped to a garden cane to grab the string and pull it out of the bottom.  As the gut string was cut to a set length we had to very carefully sellotape that to a long length of fishing line so we could pull it back through after we had tied the knot.  Modern harps have holes cut down the back to make life easier!   A pupil of mine told me her cat likes to sleep inside her harp and crawls in through one of these holes.  My daughter had a kitten called Catkin and she did exactly the same.  When we started to play the harp she let out a yowl and scratched her way up to the hole and bolted.  We have had nearly a foot of snow this week and I discovered just how un-aerodynamic the hens actually are.  it was too deep for them to hop around so when I fed them I scraped a patch of grass and banged the feed bin.   They would fly out of the wood with their legs stuck out in front and crash land up to 10 yards away sometimes on top of each other.  No harm done however.   Thank you for all the messages (and for reading  the blog) – and yes a bag of chips in Whitby sounds just the job! 🙂

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