Single Action Harp (Louis XVI-Harp)



Handmade facsimile of a French pedal harp after 18th century masters as Naderman, Renault & Chatelain, Cousineau and others. This type of the early pedalharp reached its highest reputation in Paris (Marie-Antoinette) and is suited for a wide repertoire reaching from Krumpholtz and Mozart up to Spohr.

The original single action crotchet system (“à crochets”) gives the authentic prerequisite to 18th century playing techniques. The tone is full and warm with clear, brilliant voicing, excellent timbre.

39 gut strings F1 - bb3 (415 / 430 / 440 Hz). Hight 167 cm; 15 kg.


» Masumi NAGASAWA plays Rameau mp3

NEW: After my retirement the construction of the Louis XVI-Harp is now taken over by DARIO PONTIGGIA, Milan:

»        daripont(a)

Gothic Harp and Small Harp

Gothic Harp: These harps are found in numerous iconographic sources around 1500. This model is built closely after the “Nuremberg” type. The slim body is hollowed out of one piece of maple or cherry wood. By adjusting the bray-pins the Gothic harp obtains a characteristic timbre. On the diatonic instrument the semitones can be reached by appropriate tuning or by "squeezing" the string with the thumb nail.

26 gut strings. Hight 110 cm; weight 2,5 kg.
Various tunings and pitches, 415, 440, 466 Hz

» mp3: N. LLOPIS played without bray-pins

» mp3: A. VOLLENWEIDER played with bray-pins


Small Harp made after hook harps from around 1800 in late Baroque style with a body-shell made of seven ribs, spruce soundboard. Bright, powerful tone and very warm timbre. As a lever harp it is equipped with modern semitone levers by CAMAC, thus it is suitable for multifarious purposes.

34 gut strings C - a3 (415 or 440 Hz). Height 146 cm. Weight 7,5 kg.

NEW: After my retirement the construction of the Gothic Harp is now taken over by PETER DEMMERLE, Schaffhausen:

»       petertuggi(a)





The original harps (as well as their replicas) provide a clear and powerful sound even with their very light string tension. Thus allows a relaxed fingering and is balm for people who need or want to protect their finger joints. In addition the narrow string spacing facilitates the fingering and playing in octaves is easy for small hands without any overstretching.

Even people with fine finger structure or after having hand injuries play the historical harps effortlessly. Brisk and sparkling passages can be played very quickly without effort and thereby the articulation is precise and clear. This fact is amazing even for virtuoso players who are normally familiar with modern concert harps.

As a comparison: a concert harp keeps a total string tension of about 1'100 kp. On a historical single-action harp this is between 250 and 400 kp depending on age and type. The octave-spacing c° - c1 is about 112 mm on concert harps, but only 92 to 100 mm on historical harps.