Organology

Harp Guitar Form 3b
by Gregg Miner

Hollow Body Extension harp string attachment, Dual arm extension.
A case where hollow arms extend from both upper bouts, as in lyre guitars.

NOTE TO RESEARCHERS:  Please understand that many of the instruments on this page were not originally referred to as "harp guitars."
To understand why they are classified as such today, it is imperative that you first thoroughly read and comprehend the site author's thesis.

See bottom of page for image copyright information

Washburn harp lyre guitar, c.1900

Several specimens are known of the cataloged 6-string version of this instrument; this is the first harp configuration seen, with 4 sub-basses.  The bridge is an extended version of the fancy one seen on the 6-strings.

Unknown

Appears to be a non-production instrument of indeterminate age with an intriguing mix of features: a harp guitar with a strange lyre guitar shape, and doubled courses on the neck.

Additional images

Doug Whittier

The treble arm on this creation is just pronounced enough to place it into this category

McKenna

This is a tricky call - though it looks superficially like Form 3c (Continuous arm extension), the arm is not hollow all the way around.

Takahiro Shimo (Tokyo)

Alain Bieber, France, 2006

Look closely at this modern lyre guitar and you'll see a floating 7th string.  Believe it or not, this is a first!

To be accurate, I would classify this as a "harp form" of a lyre guitar (a brand new category), rather than as a "lyre form" of a harp guitar - but as I said, this is a historical first....

Unknown
(lyre guitar with 3 floating bass strings!)

...or it was until this was discovered.  I have long wondered if any historical makers every combined a true lyre guitar with a true harp guitar (I don't include the various Apollo lyres and similar harp-lute instruments)

 

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What is a Harp Guitar?

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