These pages are from the new book
Harp For Today, a Universal Method for the Harp
by Susann McDonald and Linda Wood Rollo, and are used by permission from
MusicWorks - Harp Editions. Harp Spectrum is very grateful to the authors.
It is important that the
student learns how to replace a broken string as soon as possible. Since
strings frequently break, especially in damp climates, a complete set of
strings should be kept at home. Here are the steps to follow:
Remove broken string.
Put the new string from above through
the hole in the top of the soundboard and tie a slip-knot from the
back-side of the harp. Do this by making two loops and putting one
through the other. Before drawing the knot tightly, insert a small piece
of thicker string ( 1/2 an inch long) through the smaller loop, and pull
the knot tightly around the insert. An insert is only needed for the
strings higher than and including middle C. For all strings (except
wires) below middle C, follow the diagram, steps 1 to 6. For middle C
and the strings above it, follow the diagram leaving out steps 5 and 6.
- Pull the string through until the knot fits snugly against
the under side of the soundboard.
- Thread the top of the string through the lower hole of the tuning
pin and place the loose end under the string from the inside. Then turn
the pin with the tuning key until the loose end is locked in place. Be
sure the string is in the groove of the string-nut.
- Wind the string up to pitch. It will not keep its pitch until it has
been stretched. It helps to pull gently on the string several times and
keep tuning it to pitch. Depending on the size of the string it can take
as long as a week for the new string to hold its pitch in a normal
fashion. Cut off unused portion of string with wire clippers, leaving
about one-half inch.
The right amount of slack allowed before tightening a new wire string.
Special note about wire strings! Wire strings should be inserted
through the hole in the soundboard from the back side. The string should be
put through the pin and tightened slightly but not completely. The string
should be left loose allowing at least one octave of slack (about six
inches). It is not necessary to pass the string under itself as before. With
the 6 inches of slack, begin tightening the string until it reaches the
correct pitch. If this slack is not allowed, a new wire string will often
break when brought up to pitch.
For additional tips, see harp technician Steve Moss's
on knot tying and securing the string on the tuning pin.
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