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Q.What is the difference between a Paraguayan harp and other folk harps?

A. The Paraguayan harp is designed so that the strings in the neck are centered between two "halves" of the neck. This feature prevents the tendency for the neck to roll over to the left as in Irish and Celtic designs. Because of this design, the harp can be constructed very lightly (between 11 and 17 pounds). It has the most sound volume of any style of harp.

Q. Can all styles of music be played on the Paraguayan harp?

A. Yes, and if the harp is equipped with sharping levers, it's even easier!


Q. Does Sandpiper use "carbon fiber" strings on the Cithara Nova harps?

A. The material is a synthetic fiber (not carbon fiber) manufactured by Savarez strings in France. There are some carbon fiber strings used on early music harps, but the string is a fishing string which has more stretch that nylon or synthetic fiber.

Q. Does Sandpiper make harps with "standard' tension?

A. Yes, we can make our harps with any tension desired.

Q. Why are Sandpiper harps designed with low tension?

A. Our first harps were Paraguayan harps, which traditionally have low tension(compared to a pedal harp). After realizing that a harp with low tension can, in fact, produce more volume than a higher tensioned instrument, it made sense to follow that philosophy. A lower tension harp does not require a heavy wood structure to take the tension, and the result is a harp that weighs less,and has more sound volume because the soundboard is free to vibrate. Low tension is also easier on the players hands, shoulders and back


Q. Do I ever need to adjust my sharping levers?

A. Yes. Most levers have a slot and a screw that holds the lever in place, just for that reason. When we install levers, they are set in a position where the exact sharp is reached. However, the harp is a continuously changing instrument. The soundboard bellys up, the neck sags, the soundbox changes shape, and all will affect the string length. Since the location of the lever is directly related to the string length, any change in the length will change the sharp point. You can regulate your lever harp yourself if you have a good ear, or an electronic tuner.

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