What is a Harp Guitar?

Short Version
  - by Gregg Miner

  • A guitar, in any of its accepted forms, with any number of additional "floating" unstopped strings that can accommodate individual plucking

  • The modern harp guitar must have at least one unfretted string lying off the main fretboard; these unfretted strings are played as an open string

  • The word "harp" is a specific reference to the unstopped open strings, and is not specifically a reference to the tone, pitch range, volume, silhouette similarity, construction, floor-standing ability, nor any other alleged "harp-like" properties.

Extremely Long Version

Why is it important? (and why have I never heard of it?)

As you will learn throughout Harpguitars.net, the harp guitar has an incredibly long, rich, diverse and utterly fascinating history (since the mid-1600's!).  Though called by many different names throughout history and the world, it has resurfaced at least once per century in some part of the world and for various musical purposes - some obsolete, some not.  The most recent resurgence is our own late 20th Century re-discovery that has been growing for decades and continues to spread worldwide.  

This time, the harp guitar will not so soon be forgotten!

- Gregg Miner, president, The Harp Guitar Foundation

The Harp Guitar Foundation is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).
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