Harp Guitar Organology part 2
by Gregg Miner

 

The Galleries:
Photo Reference Library of all Harp Guitar Forms and Examples

Harp Guitars

Form
1a

Form
1b
Form
1c
Form
2a
Form
2b
Form
2c
Form
3a
Form
3b
Form
3c
Form
4
Form
5
Composite
Forms
Other Forms

Update: August, 2012: Since the publication of the first draft of my web thesis in April, 2004, my organization by “Form” with corresponding Photo Reference Galleries has proven not only fascinating, but useful to instrument owners, builders and researchers across the globe – from amateurs to museum professionals.  And that is exactly how I intended it.  However, the sheer number of historical (and now, modern) instruments took me by surpriseand since it continues to exponentially grow, I would like eventually like to clean up and better separate certain Galleries.  I fully realize that instruments are poorly organized in the Galleries, with many discrepancies (some of the material is from admittedly questionable sources).  But the basic system seems to be working enough for instruments to be located, studied and compared as a beginning to further research.

Related Instruments

Note to the casual reader

The Reference Galleries in the row below feature historical instruments that are NOT harp guitars,
but “relatives” or distant “cousins” – presented on Harpguitars.net for historical and organological comparison.

Hollow-arm Guitars
(3 forms)

Multi-
neck Guitars

Extended Range Guitars

Fretted Harp Guitars

asturias_alto-asturias-s.jpg (18395 bytes)

Harpolyres


Sympathetic String Guitars

Lyre Guitars


Harp-
Lute Family

Arch-
lutes


Arch-
citterns

Hybrids of mixed families

Other Instruments in Harp or Hollow-arm Forms
"Harp Guitars" in Name Only

NOTE: My Harp Guitar Family Tree is organized by instrument form and characteristics.
It does not represent an evolutionary or linear progression of invented forms.
It is a snapshot of only those instruments involved in the discussion of harp guitars, and in no way represents a full categorization of guitars or related instruments.
I’ve broken this down into what I feel are the best general, identifiable categories. There will always be experimental instruments, both historical and yet-to-be-imagined, that fall outside these convenient boxes. Likewise, there are, and will be, many examples of hybrids which combine elements from different boxes.
The concepts of the entire Harp Guitar section may understandably also be applied to other fretted instruments, such as mandolins, ukuleles, steel guitars, etc (some photo examples may include other instruments for the sake of presentation).
Red text indicates instruments that in basic form and function share the harp guitar’s combination of fretted strings alongside diaspon strings. Note also the two places where the name “harp guitar” occurs outside the “true” Harp Guitar family.
A picture is worth a thousand words, therefore rather than list or describe examples, I include all known representative samples in the Photo Reference Library of Examples above.

 

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