Choosing a Harp
Beautiful, comfortable and great-sounding harps
There are three important considerations when buying a harp – the look, the feel and the sound. The “look” is captured well in our images on each individual harp model page. Certain harps just look right to certain people. It is important to like the look of your harp and to proudly reflect your joy in ownership when playing.
The “feel” refers to the harp's feel under the fingertips and against the body. All the new harps that Alison stocks are selected on the basis that they are instruments she enjoys playing. The string tension usually varies from light to medium with a few higher tension models also being stocked. All the models are of good voice and have relative ease to play. Some harps work well with smaller players and others are best for taller players.
The "sound" of the harp is important too. Alison often auditions different models over the phone so a prospective buyer can get a sense of the sound differences. The differences may be subtle but they can be discerned. It is important to know that the sound of a harp “ripens” as it is played. Our harps sound even better with lots of playing time.
It is important to call Alison and have her assist you with your final decision making process. Her depth of experience both as a performer and a teacher is invaluable in finding the “right” harp.
You are most welcome to come and hear, see and experience our fine instruments in person.
Every instrument is "seasoned" in that it is kept in tune while in the studio allowing the strings to settle into pitch.
Most harps that we sell have a dedicated page detailing the physical features of each model and include lots of pictures to view. You will see Alison playing each harp so can get an idea of the overall size of the harp [Alison is 5'4” tall].
Have a Victoria Vacation & Choose Your Harp
A number of West Coast Harps would-be-purchasers elect to visit Victoria on Vancouver Island, have a few harp lessons with Alison and test play all our harps. Returning home with your chosen harp is the culmination of an already great west coast experience. We can also ship your new harp to the major centre closest to your home.
Not all harps are professionally crafted. Some are made by amateur woodworkers who know how to make wood beautiful yet know nothing about the physics of a nice sounding, playable harp. Therefore quality can vary greatly. Harp making methods and technologies have progressed tremendously in the last decades as North American harping interest has expanded. Some earlier folk harps, even those made by long established companies, were not particularly well designed rendering them obsolete with poor sound, bad weight-to-size ratios or lesser playability. As a result, these harps may end up on eBay alongside the cheap but usually unplayable carved rosewood harps from Pakistan. West Coast Harps stocks only professionally made harps.
The biggest differences in the harp business are to be found in design, service and ease of acquisition. That is why West Coast Harps exists. We identified a critical need for a variety of harps to be made available to interested Canadians for an affordable price, in a timely fashion without all the attendant shipping or brokerage issues found at the Canadian border.
Special Edition Fullsicle 26
County Kerry 24E
County Kerry 24D
Christina Therapy Harp
Small Floor Harps
Ravenna 26D Standard
Ravenna 26D Black
Ravenna 26D Burgundy
Ravenna 26D Green
Large Floor Harps
Boulevard Classic 34
Ravenna 34D - Standard
Ravenna 34D - Black
Ravenna 34D - Burgundy
Triplett Sierra 34
Triplett Celtic II 34
Triplett Catalina Staved 34
AEL Celtic 36
Triplett Sierra 36
Triplett Eclipse 38
AEL Celtic 32
AEL Irish 32
Triplett Celtic II