Historical Harp Society of Ireland

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Queen Mary

STUDENT OTWAY HARP

side view of Student Otway
click to enlarge

The fifth in our series of accurate, high quality, measured student early Irish harps, which are being made for the Society by David Kortier, of Minnesota, is of the "large low-headed" design, as a contrast with the later "high headed" Downhill and earlier "small low-headed" Trinity, Queen Mary and Lamont.

We don't know how old it was; it bears the maker's name "Cormick O Kelly" and the date 1707, which may have been a date of construction or repair.

In the late 18th century, the Castle Otway harp was owned and played by Patrick Quin from the North-East of Ireland. Some of his repertory was collected by Edward Bunting and is preserved in Bunting's manuscripts in Queens University, Belfast. His harp was preserved by the Otway family and is now owned by Trinity College, Dublin.

HHSI Student Otway: features and specification (revised 2016)

  • 30 strings, E to e'''
  • Two adjacent strings tuned to the note g below middle c', known as "na comhluighe"; also a missing pitch at either bottom E or F, known as "tead leagtha" or "tead leagaidh" accordingly.
  • Soft iron treble strings yellow brass mid-range and red brass bass.
  • The positioning of the 34 pins and 35 shoes copied from David Kortier's measurements from the original in Trinity College, Dublin, ensuring accurate historical string spacing and angles. (There is more than one possible stringing configuration; you may experiment with other configurations if you wish.)
  • Overall longest dimension 43" (109cm)
  • Unitary neck-pillar construction laminated by David Kortier from cherry wood
  • Pieced soundbox respecting wood grain orientation, from willow wood
  • mortice and tenon joint at top of soundbox, bolt at base
  • metal string shoes
  • Tapered through tuning pins to fit standard pedal harp size tuning key
  • For info on the original Otway harp, please click here.

Click to enlarge

Not currently available.

Click here for more information about ordering this harp

The HHSI has some Student Otway harps available for rental; please enquire for waiting times and rates.

For any enquiries to do with your order, please email shop@irishharp.org.

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