For Sale - About
About Our Psalteries
West Coast Harps is now stocking Bowed Psalteries from Noteworthy Woodworking (Ohio, USA). We normally have 32-string Alto models in stock, and Tenor (26 strings) and Bass (24 strings) models can be easily custom-ordered at competitive prices. Psalteries are available in walnut or cherry with sitka spruce soundboard, solid maple pinblock and decorative inlay. Psaltery packages include carrying bag, cherrywood horsehair bow, tuning wrench and resin block.
Noteworthy Alto Psaltery
From Noteworthy Woodworking notes:
Holding the Psaltery and starting to play
The Bowed Psaltery may be the easiest to play bowed instrument that you will ever see. To play, hold the Psaltery on your left arm, much as though you were holding a large book. The hand should be behind the instrument, out of the way and the side with the tuning pegs should be towards your elbow. Hold the large end of the bow in your right hand and lay the hair on one of the strings. Tilt your hand towards the back of the Psaltery just a bit so that the hair touches only one string at a time. Slid the bow back and forth smoothly and the Psaltery will sound. You can make long or short notes as needed by varying how you move the bow. Move the bow quickly on the high notes and slowly on the low notes. Bow speed is important; experiment to get the best sound.
Adjusting the horsehair bow
Tighten the bow hair by sliding the knot around the curved part of the bow. It should be fairly snug while playing and loosened when not playing so the hair does not stretch. If the hair will not tighten, untie the knot and re-tie it a bit higher. Do not trim the extra hair next to the knot, you will need it to re-tie the knot. Avoid touching either the bow hair or the strings on the Psaltery where the bow touches them. As you play, a layer of rosin builds up on the strings and improves response and tone. Touching the strings removes this layer.
Tuning of the Alto Bowed Psaltery
The tuning of the Alto Bowed Psaltery is very simple. The longest string on the right side (there is a dot there) is "F" above "middle C". The next shorter string is "G" and so on. The dots mark the notes "F" and "C". Directly across from each natural note, and slightly shorter, is the sharp. Tilt the bow to the left to play the sharps.
Replacement wire strings
The wire on the Alto Bowed Psaltery is in two sizes. Starting with the lowest "F" (longest string) the following notes use .011 inch diameter wire: F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, and C. All the rest of the wires are .010 diameter. Look at the wires and you will see how each one starts at the tuning peg, goes up the Psaltery to a hitch pin (where you play it) down the front of the hitch pin, throught the hole, to the next hitch pin, through its hole, up the front of that hitch pin over the top and back to the next tuning peg. It's easier to do than to explain. Banjo or gitar strings of the proper diameter will work nicely. Just cut off the end you do not need. When tuning or installing a new string, be sure that you are turning the correct tuning peg to adjust the string you are playing.
Care of the Bowed Psaltery
Avoid leaving the Bowed Psaltery in your car in the summer and protect it from extreme cold and direct sunlight. Ask your local music store for cleaning or polishing supplies. Regular violin rosin is fine for the bow. Rub the bow on the rosin when it starts to skip across the strings rather than playing smoothly. The top or "soundboard" of your Psaltery may move up and down with changes in weather or humidity. The is a normal result of solid wood's tendency to expand as humidity increases.
Music for the Bowed Psaltery
You can use almost any music to play your Psaltery. Since it plays one note at-a-time you can play the melody line or harmony as you please. (WCH note: With two bows and the Psaltery on a stand you can play both melody and harmony simultaneously!).
West Coast Harps economically
ships bowed psalteries to most Canadian destinations using
quality packaging via Canada Post Expedited. So you can do more than
dream when viewing our psaltries - one can be yours.
Our New Psaltery Models
About Bowed Psalteries (BP)
Bowed Psalteries For Sale Page - New
Price Comparison Chart
Pricing for Canadian Customers
No Border Brokerage Fees for Canadian Customers
& Provincial Sales Taxes
Insurance for Instruments
Noteworthy Woodworking Warranty
are NOT Warranted
Instrument Shipping Insurance and Warranty Start