by Benoît Meulle-Stef

(edited by Gregg Miner)

Chapter 1. The First Harp Guitar of Orville Gibson

The first appearance of a harp guitar in Gibson history is the instrument built by Orville Gibson himself at the very end of the 19th century. The guitar has Orville’s usual classic features - massive sides and back and outrageous neck and headstock inlay. This one has a most peculiar look. Note that the basses are almost in the position of zither bass strings. Apparently the harp strings have a chromatic scale probably starting with a D# and finishing with an E one octave below.

The Orville harp guitar front, back and detail of the unique head.

(Photo from Acoustic Guitars & Other Fretted Instruments by Gruhn & Carter)    

Chapter 2 >

Article by Benoît Meulle-Stef with the help of:

Mr Gruhn for original catalogue material and help.

Gregg Miner for help with English, photos and formatting.

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