Testimonials: Gothic Harps

Hi-

Enclosed are some photos of the 31 string gothic. I made it from cherry timbered locally. the plans were great, and my on-line questions were answered cheerfully. It took about 3 months worth of weekends to build, as I have never done anything like this before.

Thanks a lot- it was a lot of fun to build, can't wait to learn how to play (after my wife strings it).

Greg Roesch

 

 

 

 


I thought you might be interested in a photo gallery I put together. Five years ago we bought a Gothic 31 kit so I could build a harp for my daughter, Katie (age 9 at the time). I took photos throughout the project and now have a photo gallery showing each step: 
http://www.pbase.com/lehnherr/the_harp_project

Now I've never played an instrument before and don't necessarily have a music ear, but I am amazed at how loud and how beautiful it sounds. That soundboard really amplifies things.

Five years later and my daughter is still taking weekly lessons and practicing every day...ok, most days.

I am very happy with how this project turned out. There are a few minor mistakes I made but unless you look for them, you probably won't find them. It certainly doesn't affect the sound. Now that I've built one, I'd really like to build another, applying what I've learned in building the first.

Thanks for an excellent, affordable kit. I've got a lot of friends and family who are pretty interested in this project and I've been highly recommending Musicmakers, both for the quality of the kit, and the quality of customer service.

Regards,
Patrick Lehnherr


Dear Matt,

I built my harp in 1996 with absolutely no woodworking experience.  I didn't understand at the time what a meaningful project it would be, but it has been a very powerful part of my life as a harpist to learn to play on an instrument I built.  Thank you for all that Musicmaker's Kits does to help facilitate this relationship between musicians and their instruments.  
 
Best
Jennifer


Steve Gyuro conducts the Oriana Harp Quartet.

Not only did Steve build all of these harps - he gave the girls harp lessons and arranged this music for four harps. Wow...


 

My order was delivered yesterday. All it's OK, thank you very much!

As attachment, I send you the photo of our couple of 31-gothic harps that my colleague Marco Pasquino (on the left, he's both musician and luthier) made in walnut from your blueprints two years ago.

With our duo ( http://www.ebahgart.it ) we play especially medieval music.

The voice of these harps is really clear, rich and powerful... wonderful!

Paola Brancato

 

 


Musicmakers is pleased to provide harps for the Chalice of Repose Project.

The Chalice of Repose Project is the only school of Music Thanatology in the World. The Chalice of Repose Project provides graduate level courses for students with an opportunity to earn a Certificate in Comtemplative Musicianship, a Certificate of Music-Thanatolgy, as well as various internships. Students attending the Chalice of Repose school use Musicmaker's 31-string Gothic Harp.

Here is what Therese Shroeder-Sheker, founder of the Chalice of Repose Project, has to say about our 31-String Gothic Harp -
"The 31-stringed “Gothic” harp is a hybrid design of tremendous dependability.  It is not a reproduction of a medieval harp, though the slender pillar echoes something of that sensibility.  The “Gothic” harp is lightweight (22 pounds), very lyrical, warm, unusually stable (come rain or shine!) and is very modestly priced. We love these harps and have been recommending them to our students for years."


I thought you might be interested in a photo gallery I'm putting together. We bought a Gothic 31 kit so I could build a harp for my daughter, Katie (age 9). I took photos throughout the project and soon hope to have a nice, chronological, photo gallery up showing each step. For now, though, I have two pages up, one from the first night working on it, and one of the harp just before I put the strings on.

http://www.pbase.com/lehnherr/the_harp_project


You can click on the images to get to the two pages, then click on those images to get larger images.

I've got it strung now and am tuning every night. After one night the strings were off 2 notes. Now, two weeks later, they're only off about a half note each night.

Now I've never played an instrument before and don't necessarily have a music ear, but I am amazed at how loud and how nice it sounds. That soundboard really amplifies things.

I am very happy with how this project turned out. There are a few minor mistakes I made but unless you look for them, you probably won't find them. It certainly doesn't affect the sound. Now that I've built one, I'd really like to build another, applying what I've learned in building the first.

Thanks for an excellent, affordable kit. I've got a lot of friends and family who are pretty interested in this project and I've been highly recommending Musicmakers, both for the quality of the kit, and the quality of customer service.

Regards,
Patrick Lehnherr


Dear Jerry,

My Gothic 31 was completed last month, and I have not as yet installed sharpening levers. Therefore, my harp teacher, a concert harpist who has appeared on the Johnny Carson Show, and who has a house full of pedal harps, insisted that I borrow her Lyon and Healy Troubador until I install the levers. She then decided to deliver the L&H to my house so she could see my new harp. I wish you could have been here when she visited.

She played my Gothic 31, and the sound was nothing short of beautiful. The harp sang in her hands. Then she played the same song on her L&H, and she said, "Your harp is better than the L&H. It has a more beautiful tone, and it projects very well. You should go into the harp business."

I quickly said, "MusicMaker's gets the credit for this harp, not me. I just put it together."

Since I am a beginning harper (although recently semi-retired), I am playing some rather basic things on the G31, so I have not heard its voice the way a professional harpist would play it. When she played, it was nothing short of wonderful, and I can't thank you enough for such a terrific instrument. The Gothic 31 is beautiful to look at and beautiful to hear.

Many thanks, and Merry Christmas to Everyone at MusicMaker's,

Ferris Anthony


Amy with harp in tulip fieldAmy Muia, a harpist from Mount Vernon, Washington, is pictured in one of the many tulip fields in her area. The harp is a Gothic-31 string that she built from a kit.

 

 

 

 

 


Hello, all!
I kit-built a Gothic 31 four years ago and it continues to give me great pleasure. It stays in tune remarkably well and has developed a beautiful, rich voice. In fact, I did my gr. 8 Royal Conservatory harp exam on it this past August! I just wanted to let you folks know that I continue to be very pleased with this harp.

I also wanted to let you folks know that this harp has inspired me to write two books of arrangements with this particular harp in mind; traditional Celtic ensemble pieces (performed frequently by our local harp ensemble, which contains four other Musicmakers harps, among others) and off-the-beaten-track Baroque pieces for solo performance. Thank you again for making such a quality instrument available to me within my means.

Best Regards,
Deborah Ethier


Pixie with her Gothic harpDear Jerry,
The Gothic 36 is a beautiful harp with a rich sound. It was also so much easier to do, as a kit, than another from a different company which my husband tried before this one. He also enjoyed putting your Limerick harp together - what a little gem!

Pixie Wright

 

 

 

 

 


I have just completed construction of the 36 string harp using your plans and hardware, and my own wood. I used a lot of walnut for the bridge and trim pieces, with some maple and birch as well. Since my daughter is an accomplished harpist on her own 36 string professional lever harp, I had an expert tune and string the instrument. I admit it was many hours of work to build the instrument, mainly because I am a slow worker. I often wondered if the finished instrument would sound reasonable, and I figured if it was half as good as the four thousand dollar professional model my daughter uses, I would be happy.

I was overjoyed to finally hear the instrument. The tone is deeper than that of the Healy, with a rich resonance to it. It is not only comparable, but many people say it sounds much better than the professional harp.

I would recommend this instrument to anyone as a fine quality, professional harp. Thank you.

-Steven Eriksen


I am building your Gothic 31 kit and am very, very pleased with the quality of this kit. I have built three harps and a bowed psaltery from kits by other companies (who I don't wish to name!) and two of these were very frustrating, unpleasant experiences resulting in harps causing nothing but problems. Your kit is so well thought-out, cut, etc., with every detail anticipated. It has been a very enjoyable experience!

-Deborah Ethier


Marini harpA little over a year ago I built my first 31 string Gothic harp from your blueprints. Other than a few minor mistakes, it came out very nice and sounds great. My daughters took to it like a duck to water and our home is graced with heavenly music all the time now.

I've enjoyed building the harp so much that I've since made 5 more in my spare time, as well as 4 Limerick harps. I want to thank you for providing all that was necessary to get things going, and especially for your free, expert advice over the phone as I've enjoyed speaking with several of the men in the shop.

I've enclosed a picture for you.

-Alex Marini

 

 


What an exquisite piece of woodworking! Every detail is so lovely and so beautifully finished. I bought this (finished) harp as an investment to rent out to my students, and now I really hate to let it leave the house.

-Stephanie Bennett


I just returned from a trip to the Harp Center in Richmond. They had about 10 lever harps of various makers and sizes. I was delighted to learn (after trying each one) that my MusicMakers 31 with the low option sounded better than any of the other maker's harps. The string spacing was so close on all of these (and my harp) that there was no problem in finger placement. All the harps at the center had lower volume than does mine. Only one approached mine for quality of sound in the lowest octave, and that one had a sustain that is way too long for my taste. (Mine is a tad long, but not nearly to the extent of that one.)

In sum, in both tone quality and volume, my MusicMakers harp is superior to any of the others that I tested.

-Ted Darby


Dear Musicmakers:

I completed your 31 string Gothic harp kit about a week ago, LEVERS and ALL. It took about 45 hours to complete the harp. Then about another 5 hours for the levers. Your easy to follow instructions were.... well easy to follow. Thank you for making the process so easy and the quality of wood so great. I am no wood worker, but the compliments I have received about the looks & glorious sound from this instrument make it hard to be humble. So I find myself giving Musicmakers a great deal of the credit. I thought you should know you are receiving these KUDOS. I built this harp for my, originally skeptical, wife to play in church services. The sound in the sanctuary brought tears to my eyes. THANK YOU again.

-Paul Collen


Hi Jerry,

You weren't kidding when you told me how beautiful the 31 Gothic turned out! Everyone who's seen it has been extremely impressed with, not only the beauty of the workmanship, but the incredible sound. Here's something I thought I'd never say about any harp, but I almost like it more than mine.

-Bonnie Pullium