26 Jul - 1 Aug 2024

Illustrated Talks

Harp failure: understanding why harps break

Dr Karen Loomis

60 mins

Wednesday July 31st

12:00 - 13:00 GMT +1

Event Overview

The surviving early Irish harps from previous centuries show many signs of wear, tear, and repair — some of it quite dramatic. But harps made today can also be susceptible to sometimes serious cracks and breaks. All of these instruments must strike a balance between good acoustics and structural integrity, walking a fine line between sounding great and cracking under the tension of the strings. Making or owning a harp is a big investment — in time, materials, and funds. In this illustrated talk, we'll look at how and why some harps break, and see what we can learn from the historical instruments, so that we can be better informed about our own instruments today.

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