Gothic Harp

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Question about Gothic Harps?

I have a question, and I hope somebody would be able to answer this. :)

When it comes to gothic style harps, I was wondering about the buzzing, "braying" sound it makes. Is this optional in gothic harps? Say, you wanted to play a song with the buzzing, and then afterward a song without the buzzing-- would you be able to turn the braying sound off?

I'm not sure exactly what bray pins are, and am wondering if it's possible at all.

Thank you kindly to whomever can answer! (I'm deciding on a harp, and I like historical harps.)

Nils H is correct--the bray sound is optional. Bray pins are L-shaped, and set directly into the soundboard. The harp player can twist any individual pin so it is near the string, or twist it away from the string if no bray sound is wanted. The bray pin isn't actually touching the string at rest; it only contacts the string if the string is vibrating.

I'm a harper too; I specialize in Irish harp, and have recently decided that I want a more historical sound too; so after seventeen years of playing on nylon strings, I am looking for a wire-strung harp as well. Wire harps are an ancient tradition as well, and the strings are played with long fingernails, instead of the finger pads, which is how nylon and gut strings are played.

Gothic harps are fun! I've only played one a couple of times, and neither one had bray pins, but I like the strange, sitar-like sound that bray harps make. Do you have a specific maker in mind? Please be aware that with musical instruments, you get what you pay for--so don't go with a cheap harp! I hope you can find a quality instrument in your searching.

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