/>Tim Manning - Aeolian Harp Maker
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Aeolian Harp

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2014 Aeolian Harp2014 single harp with London Plane sides, nylon strings

Aeolian Harp Manning This single harp ~2011

A double Aeolian Harp I repaired in about 1995

The repaired instrument with its case with 4 solid silver strings!

Close-up of double Aeolian Harp copy

 

The first Aeolian Harps were reputed to have been formed from the bodies of dead Turtles who's desiccated and dried bodies had some element of stretched string about them. When wind blew through the shell it caused the 'strings' to vibrate.

The Victorians were fond of Aeolian Harps and constructed them to fit in front of sliding sash windows. When a draft blew through the window it had to pass through the instrument as well, causing a strange and somewhat other worldly sound to eminate from the instrument.

The sound that comes from an Aeolian Harp is not that of the fundamental note of the the string, but from the partials or harmonics of the string. Different intensities and variations in direction of the wind cause different pitches to sound.

These instruments are difficult to demonstrate in their normal playing position as the wind cannot be guaranteed to blow when one wants it to!

I once went to Westonbirt arboretum when there was a performance of what could probably described as an Aeolian Harps Ensemble. These instruments were entirely different in design from the Victorian models and had magnetic pick-ups fitted in order to amplify the sound. A CD was made of these instruments and it was called Windsongs. You may still be able to find it.

Aeolian Harp Manning2011 Harp with top removed

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Some Aeolian Harp ideas Aeolian Harp Idea Tube

Tube with strings around the outside

Arolian Harp idea

Horn shaped wind collector

Aeolian Harp double Helix

My most expensive Aeolian Harp idea yet this would be a double helix made from stainless steel with strings streached between. Obviously based on the DNA structure. This would be suitable for siteing at some sort of medical or scientific institution.