Organology: Harp Guitar "Relatives"
Updated December, 2013

Note to the casual reader or researcher: This Reference Gallery features historical instruments that are not harp guitars, but “relatives” or distant “cousins” – presented on for historical and organological comparison.

Sympathetic String Guitars
by Gregg Miner

See bottom of page for image copyright information

Thomas Zach (att), Prague, 1850 or 1856 Porcel, Barcelona, 1867 Hartman, 1897, Pat #586,032 Lerro, 1898,
Pat #600,586


Englund, 1899,
Pat #616,908
Flemmings, 1902,
Pat #711,203
Bohmann "tone bars," 1915, Pat #1,128,217

The patent version uses 4 metal "tone bars" to provide sympathetic vibrations.

Bohmann, c.1910

Though the 6 sympathetics inside the body of this specimen are described as "strings," I am virtually certain that they are the same metal rods seen on all similar Bohmanns as described in the patent at left. See for a similar instrument (Frank Ford incorrectly describes them as "strings" also).

Olsen, 1924, Pat #1,489,710 Sternheimer, France, 1985

Patent # 2,565,016


Danelectro Coral Sitar
12 strings tuned chromatically, no strummed
Fred Carlson
12 internal sympathetic strings


What is a Harp Guitar?


Harp Guitar Family Tree

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