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Harp String Madness: also known as the Harp String Patch Test

One of my many creative occupations is being a Concert Harpist and Composer. As you read my blog there will be many different sides of myself expressed, this one is for my harpist friends and colleagues. The subject is harp strings. What do we do when a maker puts out a bad batch or if another new kind come on the market? What are the alternatives to the tried and true? I have decided to offer up my harp and my expertise to a "patch test" of various brands and types of strings.

Here is the collection of strings I have chosen. I am super excited about this project and cannot wait to get them on my harp.


I am calling each string by the number used for that string, such as No. 11 is Second Octave B.

I purchased the strings from three different online shops that sell strings. I will include the shop name and price of each string. I have also chosen strings in a range that is played often and plan on playing them quite vigorously as part of the patch test.

The first is:

No. 11: Second Octave B.

Vanderbilt: Classic Gut Harp Strings.

$8.00 at Vanderbilt Music.

NO. 11

No. 12: Second Octave A.

Bow Brand: Pedal Natural Gut.

$8.00 at Vanderbilt Music

No. 12

No. 13: Second Octave G.

Savarez: Alliance Fluorocarbon

$7.65 at Vanderbilt Music

No. 13

No. 14: Second Octave F.

Savarez: Harp Diatonique Varnish Rectified Gut

$12.95 at Vanderbilt Music

No. 14

No. 15: Third Octave E.

Pirastro: Nycor Concert Harp Nylon

$9.75 at The Harp Connection

No. 15

No. 16: Third Octave D.

Premier Harp Strings Pedal Gut

$13.00 at The Virginia Harp Center

No. 16

No. 17: Third Octave C.

Bow Brand Burgundy Gut

$8.50 at Vanderbilt Music but from my personal collection of String Bag Extras.

No. 17

Next blog: The Strings Go on the Harp!

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