The Harp – Tie a Wire String Part 2

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,232
    Cynthia Cathcart, a teacher, recording artist, performer, and author demonstrates how to finish tying a wire harp string.

    Cynthia Cathcart

    Cynthia is one of the world's experts on the Clarsach, the wire-strung harp of the Highland and Islands of Scotland and of Ireland. Performing and teaching internationally, she is leading a new wave of interest in the wire-strung harp. Based near Washington, DC, Cynthia represents Ardival Harps of Strathpeffer, Scotland and is their North American Artist in Residence. Cynthia is a recording artist, and the author of several books for the clarsach. She holds a number of prestigious awards, including two-time U.S. National Scottish Harp Master Champion, three time winner of the Clan Lamont Trophy (in Virginia, Texas and Ohio), and holder of the Pennington-Grey Award for service to the wire-strung harp.

    Now lets assume. Ive already figured out that the wire I need is this, 0.

    17, just happens to be. Go to your harp and I have got it right here. I am not going to break a string for you, but lets assume that its a string thats broken. I am going to actually take the actual measurement from the soundboard to the tuning pin. Thats the length I need. I am going to add not that much, and about that much again. Especially, if you are just using, this is brass, always cut it way too long, because the worst thing that can happen is to tie your knot and get it all beautiful and put it on your harp and then find out youre about a quarter inch shy of what you need. You have to start all over again. So, always cut ample wire. You are not using another piece of equipment here. Okay, this is where the vice-grip comes in handy. You hook this over a doorknob and then you grip the edge of your wire in the vice-grip. Now you can also use regular vise, if youve got one and you have got the room or you can use your needle nose pliers and get a member of the audience to hold the other end for you. What is vital in this process is to have the string taut. If this is flopping around the place, its going to be very hard to tie this knot. I always start well into the wire. I dont want to be fighting with the really short piece of wire. So, I actually start my knot with plenty of wire to work with. Take your toggle, put it on the wire and get one wrap around it. So, I have taken the wire and I have made one wrap around. Now, I am going to make another one. Okay, now I am going to wrap it around, but this time, take it around the other side. You see how I switched it. Now, I am wrapping below the taut string, and wrap it around again, four wraps altogether. Then I switch directions. Now, I am going to wrap my loose end and you see how nice it is to have plenty to hold on to here. Wrap my loose end around the taut end of the wire and I just wrap it as neatly as I can. Sort of like a wound guitar string, and I do that maybe five times. Now, I take my needle nose pliers and I cut off that tail end and there we go. Ask your audience member to release the wire or let go of your vice-grip. There is your knot.