People choose to change the strings on their harps for any of several reasons. It may be an attempt to improve the tone quality or to change the tuning scheme on the harp. It can be be a simple need to replace a broken string with one that might last longer. Whatever the situation, some understanding of the principles at work will be helpful if not absolutely necessary. . . putting the wrong strings on a harp could lead to catastrophe.
In this section of the website we have gathered articles that address several aspects of the stringing of a harp. We begin with a simple treatment of this complex subject for those who want an overview in A Makers Perspective by James Skeen.
For those who wish to delve deeper, String Wizard is a calculator that provides the means to explore different setups and predict the effects of manipulating certain parameters on the performance of a string. Everything from the simple relationship between length and pitch to the amount of energy stored in a string is covered. The accompanying pages explain how to use the calculator and describe some of its possible applications. This contribution comes from Paul Dooley.
For those who dont want to go into such great detail, or who just want to gain an overview of how a stringing might work out across the entire harp, the String Scale Analysis Tool by Michael Billinge is a spreadsheet that may prove a useful analytical guide. It is strongly recommended that you be familiar with the information in the Introduction to the Spreadsheet before using it.
An example of some of these principles in practice is presented here in The Silver Report: Sterling Silver Harp Wire written by Cynthia Cathcart concerning research into the use of silver string first published in The Folk Harp Journal (Summer 2009)