Details and F A Q's
1. What is the proper term for a harp player?
The proper term is, "harpist" or "harper."
2. Does “Harpist” refer to women, and “Harper” for men?
No, actually, a “Harpist” is a person playing a pedal harp (or
orchestral harp), whereas, “Harper” refers to one playing a lever
or folk harp.
3. What is the difference between a pedal harp and a lever harp?
A "pedal" harp has seven pedals, one for each note of the scale; and
each of these has three settings: up for flat, middle for natural,
and down for sharp. These pedals correspond to the strings through
rods inside the column which move the discs located on the neck of
the harp to raise or lower the pitch.
A "lever" harp has levers near the top which are hand operated to
individually and manually lift them to raise the pitch one half step
to sharpen the pitch), and then return back to natural. Although
lever harps are much lighter and easier to move, there are some
limitations for playing more intricate works of music. The opposite
is true of the pedal harp. It is heavier and more cumbersome to
move, but has the ability to play a wider variety of music, and is
known for producing unique glissandos.
4. How much do harps cost?
While harps very in price, lever harps may run from about several
hundred dollars to up to $6,000, or $7,000, or more; whereas, pedal
harps vary from about $10,000--$11,000 up to anywhere from $80,000--
to $250,000 depending on gilding and extras and such.
5. Are fingernails used in playing the harp?
While there are some lesser known wire strung harps played with
the fingernails, most harps are played with the "flesh" of the finger pad,
plucking the strings to priduce the wonderfully sweet sound. Also, the
pinky finger is not used on the harp...due to it being to weak and short.
6. How much does your harp weigh, and how do you move it?
All my harps weigh between 17 lbs up to nearly 90 lbs. I use
a harp dolly to move my pedal harps, along with a "snow-suit-like"
three-piece transport cover. For my lever harps, I use a nice canvas
carry bag with shoulder strap.
7. Does the harp need amplification?
Yes, and no. It depends on the size of your event. My pedal harp
is capable of producing a large enough sound for small events.
I do offer amplification for events which are larger, and highly
recommend it. My amplification system is wireless to the harp
but requires an outlet across the room for the amp plug and receiver.
With “live” music coming from the harp, and the amplified sound
across the room, the sound meets together where everyone can hear
well, and yet be able to carry on conversations.
8. Do you play for outdoor events?
Yes, I do, but with some requirements:
There must be a flat surface on which to place my
harp and stand, (which may require a special strong board or
platform, if necessary) and the harp must be protected from the
elements, like sun, wind or rain. In case of inclement weather,
an alternate nearby location must be available. Overhead sun
exposure on the harp’s soundboard creates heat expansion, thus,
causing the strings to go out of tune which is detrimental to the
wood. A covered area is needed, unless there is low evening sun
free of wind and rain.
9. How much does it cost to have you come play for our wedding?
My fee depends on several factors:
Length of the ceremony, location of ceremony, and outside, vs.
inside of the wedding site, as well as any "extras" added. I have a
basic hourly fee, (for the first hour of a one-time event), which has
a cartage fee built in for the delicate process of transporting my
harp to and from the performance site.) The second hour and
subsequent hourly fees are largely reduced. If the harp needs
to be moved again for the second hour at the same event, there may
be an additional fee assessed. Also, I offer optional amplification if
desired! Please call, text, or email for a quote!
10. How do I reserve my wedding date?
You can reserve your wedding date with me by signing my
PERFORMANCE AGREEMENT, along with a deposit to hold
your event date...balance to be paid two weeks before your event or
11. May I choose a vocalist to sing along with the harp?
Yes, as long as he or she sings professionally, and has adequate
12. Do you play along with other instrumentalists?
Yes! I can recommend some also.
13. Do I need to provide you with any equipment?
Not at all! I provide my own harp stool and accessories. The only
optional extra equipment that I would need would be for shade for
an outside wedding if during the day. Also, if the ground is not level,
then I would need a board or ramp approximately 5' x 5'.
14. If we decide to book you for our event, would you be able to provide
us with some help in choosing the music?
Absolutely! I would be most delighted to help you in choosing
the right music for your special event!
15. What is the general order of a wedding ceremony?
The general order of a wedding ceremony typically is as follows:
Includes 15 to 25 minutes of prelude music (I usually do a nice
blend of some classical, popular, love songs, and hymns.)
Special selections are also performed for the seating of the
Honored Guests (Mothers, Grandmothers etc.)
Selection for the Bridesmaids
Selection chosen for the Bride
CEREMONY MUSIC: (optional)
Music for Communion, or lighting of the unity candle, or sand blending
Lively music performed for the Bride and Groom’s exit
Continued upbeat music for the guest’s exit as well
16. Would you be willing to work with my Wedding Coordinator?
Absolutely! I would be happy to work with your Wedding Coordinator!