An Aeolian Harp, (To Construct)

Length thirty-two inches by six; depth one and three-quarter inches. The strings are attached to the small hooks at the end, corresponding to the pegs. The strings must be about the thickness of the first string of the violin. These strings answer well, but if too expensive the small gut used by whip manufacturers may be used. The bottom plank of the harp should be oak, three-quarters of an inch thick, length three feet, breadth ten inches. The bridges may be any sonorous wood, (but steel will give the best sound), half an inch in height, cut angular to a blunt point; they must not be flattened down, but must be made to fit very flat to the bottom board, or it will jar, and never play well. This is the great defect in all harps made by amateurs. The ends of the harp should be oak, one inch thick, and must be fixed very firmly to the bottom board, but not with metal screws or glue; and in these the pins are fixed for tightening the strings. Use fiddle-pins, half at each end. The top should be half an inch thick, and sycamore wood is the best, and may be polished - it should be very slightly fastened on, for it has to be removed every time to tune. Common catgut does nearly as well as German. Get as thick a string as you can for one side, and a thin one for the other; then graduate them from the thick to the thin, so as not to have two alike. They are in general tuned to &C, but it is preferable to tune to low C, and then each string an octave higher. This is easily altered, if desirable. The instruments should be made very strong in all respects, for the strings exert almost incredible strength. The position for placing the harp at the window to be with the upper surface inclined towards the draft of air.

How To Construct An Aeolian Harp 45