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Peter Demmerle

I have given up my studies of natural sciences to favour instrument making. I opened my own studio in Schaffhausen in 1998. There I built successfully harps after my own design, hurdy-gurdies and steel-stringed guitars. In the last few years I restored and revised original harps more often.

I am happy to follow the footsteps of Beat Wolf.

» www.tuggi.ch
Christoph Mani

After an apprenticeship on machine-mechanics and several courses in wood-processing I finished the "Welsh School of Musical Instrument Making and Repair" as a qualified harp maker. Since 25 years: Building and repair of lever harps and concert grands in my own studio.

New: Restoring of original harps.

» www.mani-harfenbau.ch
IMPORTANT NEWS

NEW: After the retirement of Beat Wolf the restoration section is now overtaken by his successors:

 

PETER  DEMMERLE, Schaffhausen  » www.tuggi.ch


and CHRISTOPH  MANI, Guggisberg, Bern  » www.mani-harfenbau.ch

Restoration - Conservation

The palette of restoration features ranges from purely conservation / maintenance work over playability adjustments up to a total renovation, whereby the available substance of the instrument and its state of repair will determine the approach required.

Restoring a harp is more than even a harp repair, but less drastic than a harp renovation.
A careful restoration takes the biography of a harp into account and allows only moderate and reversible intervention (less is often more) so that the charm of a venerable piece can breathe on.

For enthusiasts of antiquities the conservation of a harp is the mostly practised method, as this harp is not requested to be played. However, there may be a collector who wishes to hear his harp in a concert in his living room.

As a harp restorer Beat Wolf reanimated the voice of numerous harps - from Louvet and Naderman up to Holtzman and Erard - thus they are charming many happy harpists for recordings and concerts. Even an early pedal harp by Hochbrucker now sounds in bright freshness after being restored it in painstaking detail work. Today this harp belongs to the Musée de la Musique in Paris. It is represented on a special page:

» The HOCHBRUCKER harp

Evaluation of condition

Harp owners are often scared about visible cracks in their harps, but in fact these are hardly a problem for the harp restorer. On the other hand: the truly dangerous damages are mostly hidden to the owner’s eyes. Even if a historical pedal harp shows large worm damages, a serious rescue is possible in most situations. Only in the worst case a replacement of a construction part is to be expected.

A harp expert sometimes meets harps, which were altered once in their life. Where it makes good sense, unskilled interventions shall be reversed; only biographical relevant changes should be maintained.

In cases where a special field of knowledge is required to restore a harp, e.g. design painting, further recognized specialists will be consulted.

In any case it pays to spend some money on an expertise. This avoids any surprises or a wrong decision.

 

 A harp with such ornament is not appropriate to be played again. Here a full conservation is requested.

Sound samples with harps restored by Beat Wolf