Broken Strings

Originally published September 29, 2013 on
broken harp strings

Impromptu string changes are a reality for every harpist. A full set of extra strings accompanies my harp everywhere.

This month, my second octave C-string has been acting up; one of those little red strings near the top of the harp. (Harp strings are color-coded; All C-strings are red, F-strings are black and the others are white). I changed this particular red C-string September 7, and again September 23!

Yesterday, while playing at a retirement community the rebel string popped for, I couldn’t believe it, a third time while setting up the harp. I switched it out with my last 2nd octave C-string and continued tuning.

During the performance, while introducing a piece, I heard the familiar POP once again. That same red string split in two pieces. (Shoot!) This time, I had the lucky priviledge of narrating a standard issue string change for evenings audience and replaced the C-string temporarily, with the adjacent white B-string (unfortunately in the wrong color. I made a mental note to always carry black and red permanent makers in my string bag to color in strings for occasions like these.

The next piece on the program, New Blues by Deborah Henson-Conant went off nicely, except when the new C-string fell particularly flat towards the ending of the piece. But, hey, the blues are all about those “blue notes!”