Harps are beautiful, but are not often used by beginning music students for several reasons. Harps are large, expensive, hard to transport, complicated to play and challenging to keep in tune. Young musicians who do start with harp almost always start on folk harp or a “troubadour”, a smaller, lighter, less expensive version of the harp that does not have pedals. Even these less expensive choices are a fairly large investment. Folk harps generally range from $500 – 2,000, troubadour harps from $3,000 – 5,000, and concert haprs from $10,000 – 30,000 or more.
A concert harp is about 6 feet tall, weighs about 80 pounds and consists of 47 strings and 7 pedals. The harp has the largest range of any orchestral instrument. The strings are made of nylon, gut or steel. The “C” strings are red and the “F” strings are blue, so the harpist can find where to put his or her fingers.