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Parts of a Pedal Harp

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The pedal harp is the type of harp most people are familiar with because it is often seen in a symphony orchestra. Pedal harps are also referred to as concert harp, classical harp, orchestral harp, concert grand harp and double-action pedal harp. Often it is made of maple wood with wood or veneer finishes. It varies in height and number of strings; the concert grand harps can be as tall as 6 feet and weigh as much as 90 pounds. Concert grand harps have 47 strings.

Parts of a Pedal Harp

Crown - It is the ornamental part of the harp located at the side of the top of the harp. It is shaped like a crown, thus the name.

Tuning Pins - These are the number of pins that go all through the neck and is often colored black.

Bridge Pins - May either be in gold or silver and it is where the strings of the harp rests.

Neck - The length of the upper part of the harp that is curved. It is also referred to as the "harmonic curve."

Pedal Discs - Located on the neck of the harp and functions to change the notes to sharps and flats.

Pillar - Also called the column, it supports the frame of the harp.

Soundboard/Soundbox - The soundboard is located on the string-side of the harp. The soundbox is located at the back of the harp. The holes of the soundbox from which the tune comes out off is called "sound holes." Sound holes help amplify the notes produced by the harp.

Feet - The feet of the harp enables it to stand on its own, allowing easier playing.

Strings - The strings of the pedal harp is similar to the positions of the keys on a piano. The red strings are for "C" and the black or blue strings are for "F." Strings are plucked or strung by the harpist to produce tunes.

Pedals - The pedal harp has 7 pedals, one pedal for each note - C, D, E, F, G, A and B. The left foot controls three of the pedals, the remaining four pedals are controlled by the right foot. When the harpist steps on the pedals, the pedal discs located on the neck of the harp are altered and the strings are lenghtened or shortened. Thus, naturals, sharps and flat notes are produced.

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