Based on early seventeenth century evidence, principally including the paintings
‘The Artist and his Family’ by Carlo Francesco Nuovolone (1608-1651), and King David
playing the Harp by Domenico Zampieri (1581-1641), and also the ‘Kaiser’ harp in
Brussels, this type of instrument is almost certainly what Claudio Monterverdi meant
by the term ‘Arpa Doppia’ in the score of his opera ‘L’Orfeo’ of 1607.
These instruments have backs of walnut or cherry and soundboards carved from a single
plank of sycamore,which gives them a distinctive bell-like tone with good sustain
and a loud sonorous bass. They are ideally suited to continuo playing, vocal accompaniment,
and the seventeenth century solo repertoire.
These harps be used at either A415/A440 or A440/465 without altering the stringing.
The large version is tuned GG - e’’’ and the smaller version from C-e’’’. Please
see the information page for more details.