What Are the Different Types of Mini Harps?

The lyre, Lily harp, Baharp, and clarsach are some of the different types of mini harps. These instruments can be plucked while held in the lap or leaned against the shoulder while resting on a table top. The number of strings available and the size of the sounding board determine the range of notes that each design can produce.

Harps are available in a variety of sizes and styles. Mini harps are smaller harps with fewer strings than traditional concert harps. They go a variety of names, depending on the style of craftsmanship used to carve the harp or the type of music intended to be played on it.

A standard harp has between 19 and 40 strings that can be adjusted in pitch and tone using a lever or pedal system. Mini harps have between eight and twelve strings, which are usually tuned with a small tuning tool that tightens or loosens the strings directly. The size of the sounding board and the instrument’s neck can determine the height of these harps.

The lyre is the smallest hand-held harp available. The traditional triangular design of the harp, in which strings are attached to a curved neck and fastened inside a sounding board, is not used in this instrument. The lyre’s sounding board is usually rounded and flat, with an arched neck that stretches from one side of the board to the other. The instrument has eight strings that run from the neck, across an open playing space, and down to the body, measuring about 17 inches in length (43 cm).

Among mini harps, the Lily harp is a well-known name. This instrument usually has 8 strings and measures 15 inches (38.1 cm). The notes produced this instrument have a high pitch, ranging from C above middle C to high C. Sound is produced plucking nylon cords, which reverberate through a hollow sounding board that widens as the notes get lower in the range.

The baharp is slightly taller than the Lily and has a larger sound range than its smaller counterpart. This instrument has 12 strings that range from F above middle C to high C, all of which are made of nylon. To give each instrument a distinct sound, the sounding board is often carved from rosewood, birch, or mahogany.

The modern clarsach deviates slightly from the traditional mini harp scale. The clarsachs’ design is based on historical documentation of Scottish instruments dating back to the 10th century, and their name comes from the Gaelic word for “harp.” This harp can stand between two and four feet tall (0.6 to 1.2 meters) and have up to 30 strings. The instrument’s note range is the broadest of all the mini harp designs, ranging from bass C to treble D. Wire is used to make these strings, which are typically copper and brass, though silver and gold may be used in the lower registers.