minstrel: Wire strings?

Myra Hope Bobbitt mhbobbitt at hotmail.com
Wed Dec 5 07:48:05 PST 2001

Greetings, all!

I'm Leceabh merch Ouein of Carolingia (Medford, MA), amateur 
harper/poet/singer and this year's Bard Stonemarche (New Hampshire).  I play 
a nylon-strung 29-string harp to accompany myself and others' folk songs, 
and I play Irish and Welsh traditional tunes.

My singing partner, Caera na Cride Tren, is not email-enabled and has asked 
me to relay a question to the greater group.  Caera plays a wirestrung harp 
that is double-strung.  One of the strings (b/c above middle C) breaks 
regularly:  about once every two or three months in the year since she 
bought the harp at Pennsic.

a)  Does anyone on the list know where to get a hold of wire strings?  I've 
seen some recommend piano wire.  Are there other options?

b)  Would switching to single-strung help?  How could Caera switch from 
double-strung to single for that set?  The soundboard is grommeted straight 
through, so wouldn't support my nylon-centric idea of a big knot.  Should 
she try to fit in a guitar peg?

c)  If she sticks with double-strung, how could she prevent that one string 
from continually breaking?

Please feel free to tell me if I'm asking the wrong questions -- wire is a 
bit out of my element and I would like to learn more about it.

Thank you!


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