Well, it got here last night.

My brand spanking new Ravenna 34
My brand spanking new Ravenna 34

I hope to blog about my experiences with it, partly to help me keep on track and partly (someday) to help popularize Italian folk music on the harp, but that will be a long time coming since … well … this is hard! I have large hands for piano, but that’s almost a drawback in some ways since I think smaller fingers might fit a bit better on it, and the hand position on the harp is nothing like that on the piano, making my existing flexibility not very useful.

And the potential for surface noise is immense. For an instrument that can sound so heavenly when well played, it can sure make some cringe-worthy noises when it’s not.

I spent an enormous amount of time on it last night, concentrating on keeping an open, relaxed hand, closing into the palm, and keeping my thumbs up (thank you, Josh Layne!), and just trying to get used to the new landscape of strings as opposed to a keyboard.

I may want the 8″ legs on it since I can currently turn my head to one side and rest my chin on the top of the neck with no effort whatsoever, and that seems a bit low to me. It’s comfortable, though — and when the time comes for me to start flipping levers in mid-piece, I may appreciate being able to reach some with my right hand. We’ll see; I don’t know anywhere near enough about the harp at this point to be able to make those sorts of judgments.

I even spent about a half an hour on it this morning before leaving for work. It’s a subtle, quieter instrument so it isn’t offensive in the mornings to either me or very likely to my neighbors. I’m quite happy about the potential for a half hour of practice every morning.

To my surprise it wasn’t that hard to tune it, although I’m still tweaking. I’m always surprised that I can tune well since so many people believe that pianists have “bad ears,” as if a musician only ever listens to their particular instrument. A lifetime of listening to good singers I suppose has made me picky about tuning.

(I can also highly recommend Dusty Strings, like most people who have dealt with them. They were extremely responsive and pleasant to deal with, and the harp is lovely.)

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