Modular harps

In response to message from Robert Johnston...

 > On this question of modular harps, it seems pretty
 > obvious to me that Hohner made some changes to the reed length and width
 > and particularly the material (now phosphor bronse I
 > think), purely for the sake of more automated manufacturing.
 > Then they were unable to successfully rescale the other
 > dimesions (eg reed profile) to adjust for these changes.

Aha! Now, here's something I'll go along with. If you change the material and
dimensions, you're going to get a different-sounding harp. What *had* been
bugging me about this thread were people talking about loss of "quality" and
"craftsmanship" by going to an assembly line. I think these qualities might
actually improve, particularly consistency.

I also think the player's role in creating harp tone is so important. For
example, I often hear and read that Lee Oskar and Huang harps are "thinner" and
have "less controllable tone" than a Marine Band, for example. Yet I can take a
Huang and get a thicker tone than from a Marine Band, and I also find it much
easier to control. In fact, I constantly see that players I greatly admire
prefer Marine Bands, but I've never found much to like in 'em. Why? It probably
has a lot more to do with the harp player in this case than the harp.

As I've said before, try 'em, find the ones you like and buy 'em.

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