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Simon Capp Early Harps
'Kaiser' Harp. Conservatoire de Musique, Brussels, 1504 - European and American Musical Instruments, Anthony Baines, 1966
The Artist and His Family, Carlo Francesco Nuvolone (1608-1651), Pinoteca di Brera Milan
King David Playing the Harp, Domenico Zampieri 1581-1641, Palace of Versailles, Paris, France

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.


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Italian Triple harps