Electric harp

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Like electric guitars, electric harps are based on their acoustic originals, and there are both solid-body and electro-acoustic models available. A solid-body electric harp has no hollow soundbox, and thus makes very little noise when not amplified.

Early models

Alan Stivell writes in his book Telenn, la harpe bretonne of his first dreams of electric harps going back to the late 1950s. He designed and had made a solid body (after different electric-acoustic harps) electric harp at the turn of the 1970s–80s, about the same time as Rudiger Oppermann. Alan Stivell later (early 80s) had a meeting with Joel Garnier who decided to create a model. Alan Stivell went on independently to design and have different single models been made with Leo Goas-Straajer (before the Camac–Alan Stivell last experiment). The first such commercially manufactured instrument was made by Camac, also helped later by the request of jazz-pop harpist Deborah Henson-Conant. The result looked like a light framed Celtic-style harp, but each string had a crystal (Piezo) pickup at its base. They can be plugged into various amplification systems, and players are able to use effects pedals similarly to electric guitar players. Another part of Henson-Conant's request was that she should be able to move around the stage with the harp, and thus the smaller electric harps usually include a system to strap the harp to one's body.


Solid-body electric harps are usually lever harps, though solid...
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