How Do I Build a Harp?

A few simple materials and the use of a workshop are required to construct a harp. Though harps can be made from a variety of materials, wooden harps are the most popular and easiest to construct. Harps require a soundbox and two sides that, when attached to the soundboard, form a triangle. Tuning pins are used to stretch strings from the soundbox to one of the sides.

The soundbox is the first step in the process of building a harp. It needs to be strong enough to withstand the tension created when the strings are pulled taut. The air inside the box acts as an amplifier for the string vibrations, allowing the sound created plucking the strings to reverberate. Though the exact dimensions of this box aren’t critical, it must be long enough to comfortably accommodate all of the strings.

After constructing and attaching the soundbox, the next step in building a harp is to construct and attach the neck and pillar, the instrument’s other two sides. The soundbox’s top is attached to the neck, which allows strings of various lengths to be attached to both pieces. A harp with an incorrectly formed neck can be difficult to tune. A straight piece of wood is used to make the pillar, which is attached to both the neck and the sound box. The shape and proportion of these three pieces to one another must be exact in order to build a harp.

Strings must be attached after the three sides of the harp have been put together. The strings are attached to the harp via a series of holes drilled 0.5 inches (1.3 centimeters) apart on the sound board. Strings can be knotted or pegged to keep them in place. The strings are connected to tuning pegs on the neck, which can be turned to tighten or loosen the string. Pegs can be made of wood or metal and must be attached to the harp in such a way that they can freely turn.

A base and feet may be necessary for the harp builder. These components sit between the soundbox and the pillar, allowing the harp to stay upright. The harp must be held in order to be played without them.