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January 10th, 2011

Harps

I learned a fair amount about harps last night from an unlikely source: 190 North, a show on Chicago’s ABC 7 that my wife and I watch mostly to make fun of. But then there was a segment about Lyon & Healy, and I became intrigued.

As you can imagine, Lyon & Healy is a Chicago-based harp manufacturer. They still make them here, and have been in business for 147 years (just 4 years longer than the Ping!) A single harp takes 4-6 months to create, almost completely done by hand. Harps range in price from about $2,000 on the low end to $179,000 for a super deluxe model.

Interestingly, Lyon & Healy offers a 200 seat hall devoted to the performance of harp music. The best part: “The upholstered chairs are comfortable and have been handmade in Italy especially for the concert hall.” Perfect, really, right?

I don’t play the harp and I can’t say I know anyone who does. But I can appreciate a good craft when I see it, and it seems that Lyon & Healy is doing a fine job. Keep up the good work and… harp on!

Bonus Round: My main exposure to the harp was through this episode of The Monkees wherein Peter sold his soul to the devil in order to learn how to play the harp – even though his performance was faked.

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

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