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Autoharp Inquiry

Penny S. 07 Jan 07 - 05:02 AM
Black Hawk 07 Jan 07 - 06:31 AM
Penny S. 08 Jan 07 - 03:23 PM
Penny S. 08 Jan 07 - 03:32 PM
Bill D 08 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM
Bernard 08 Jan 07 - 08:04 PM
Penny S. 09 Jan 07 - 01:13 PM
Bernard 09 Jan 07 - 01:48 PM
Penny S. 09 Jan 07 - 01:58 PM
DonMeixner 09 Jan 07 - 02:00 PM
Penny S. 13 Jan 07 - 02:25 PM
Bernard 14 Jan 07 - 07:07 AM
BanjoRay 14 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM
Penny S. 14 Jan 07 - 12:41 PM
Penny S. 14 Jan 07 - 12:41 PM
Penny S. 14 Jan 07 - 12:43 PM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 14 Jan 07 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,Penny (elsewhere) 15 Jan 07 - 12:29 PM
Willa 15 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM
Bernard 16 Jan 07 - 06:38 AM
Grab 16 Jan 07 - 08:23 AM
Penny S. 17 Jan 07 - 07:09 AM
The Fooles Troupe 17 Jan 07 - 07:49 AM
Kaleea 17 Jan 07 - 03:58 PM
BanjoRay 17 Jan 07 - 09:21 PM
moongoddess 17 Jan 07 - 10:12 PM
Willa 18 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM
Penny S. 20 May 07 - 02:50 PM
Waddon Pete 20 May 07 - 04:26 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 20 May 07 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,Jim 21 May 07 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Penny S.(elsewhere) 23 May 07 - 05:01 AM
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Subject: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 05:02 AM

I've got an autoharp I bought to accompany songs in school ages back, but haven't used for a while. Having seen at a local club just what can be achieved with one, and knowing I would never be able to play it really well, I'm thinking about selling it. I've had a look on ebay, and various other sites to get an idea of value, and it doesn't look as though many people are bidding on ebay. Anyway, I'd rather I knew it was going to a musician. I'd be happy to give Mudcat a percentage, as in the auction, but am in two minds about auctioning. It would need to be going to someone I could get it to or could pick it up - ie within reasonable reach of the Dartford Crossing, or Cirencester. It's an old German model, with 12 bars and its tuning key. It stays in tune well.

Any suggestions?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Black Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 07 - 06:31 AM

How much are you thinking of?


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 03:23 PM

Don't know. There was a wide gap on ebay, between what seemed much too little and not worth driving anywhere with it, and much too much. Not a lot in the middle. I think my insurance has upped its value to about £80. I was hoping for some help here!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 03:32 PM

Correction. The £80 was something else I'm thinking of decluttering. Having checked, it seems its worth about £60. Should have thought of looking there first.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 07:21 PM

"Old German model"?? Not sure what that indicates...how old? Is it black, or brown...? Does it say Zimmerman on it?...In which case it might be worth more that you think. If it says Oscar Schmidt, you may be close.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Bernard
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 08:04 PM

Is it black with a red rose on? That would be a Hopf...


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:13 PM

It is black, with a rose design at the key end. In the sound hole, there is a white label, reading Auto-Harp, with a circular symbol including a lyre shape, a pair of wings, and the words Trade Mark. It has 32 strings, 14 wound, below middle C, the rest plain wires, running C,D,A,H,C,Cis,D,E,F,Fis,G,A,H,(middle)C,Cis,D,E,F,Fis, G,A,H,C,Cis,D,E,F,Fis,G,A,H.
The chords are C,D7,G,Em,Am,Hm,G7,A7,D,F,Dm,F#m. The middle octave does need a tiny tweak of tuning, but I'll do that. It doesn't have a box of its own, though is in one.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Bernard
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:48 PM

It's almost certainly a Hopf, similar to mine. When new in the early 1970s it cost around 8 quid!!

A week's wages was around 12 quid, so by today's standards it would be around 150 quid new, I reckon.

So if it's in good nick, around half that is a fair asking price - there are much better ones around. Wouldn't part with mine, though...

H = B, Hm = Bm (in case you didn't know!).

Mine came in a cardboard box, long since fallen to bits and departed. These days it hangs on the wall...


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:58 PM

Hmm, I think I may have been diddled when I bought it, secondhand, probably in the mid to late 1970s. I certainly enjoyed using it as a change from not very proficient guitar. But I can't play anything complex on it, and, as I've said, I've heard what can be done with one by people less clumsy than me. I'd rather sing a capella in public than use it to accompany myself now.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: DonMeixner
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 02:00 PM

Its my guess Penny you are selling yourself short. If it is in good shape and you don't desparately need the money. Keep it. Buy a "How to play Autoharp" DVD from "Homespun" and have some fun with it.

Dom


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 02:25 PM

Well, maybe I'll give it a try again. Maybe I'll be able to get to the stage where I can forget my right hand and let it do it's own thing, which I could do with the guitar.

But I probably need to move house first.

Which is why I'm trying to declutter.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 07:07 AM

Declutter? Since when has a musical instrumnet been 'clutter'?! Hah! You should see my house... then again, maybe you shouldn't!!

On top of my piano there is my autoharp, some Highland bagpipes, a tenor banjo and a Greek bouzouki at the moment...


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: BanjoRay
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 07:37 AM

Come to the Gainsborough Old Time Festival (see recent thread) in February 16-18. Mike Fenton will be there performing and giving workshops on Autoharp. Mike's an English guy who regularly runs off with the autoharp prizes in US competitions, and is a member of the Autoharp Hall of Fame.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:41 PM

It's clutter when the neighbours have a problem with any sound at all!

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:41 PM


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 12:43 PM

Sorry about that. I was going to add that I did manage to play the Eriskay Love Lilt by ear this morning. Though not to public performance standard.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 05:42 PM

KEEP the autoharp, take BanjoRay's suggestion and come to Gainsborough. We'll be there (the Orpheus Supertones) as will some other 'harp players.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: GUEST,Penny (elsewhere)
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 12:29 PM

Looks like it's what used to be half term. Had to check that out first.

What is interesting is where responses haven't come from.

It was only middle C,C# and D that needed tuning.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Willa
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 03:25 PM

Banjoray
Can't find details of the autoharp workshops on the website. Any info please?


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Bernard
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 06:38 AM

Rather than tying yourself in knots trying to play tunes, which the Autoharp isn't really suited for, strumming chordal accompaniment to songs and 'suggesting' the tune is what you should be aiming for, certainly early on.

You can get interesting effects by holding two bars down at once... try holding C and F down together, strum once, let go of F and strum twice - waltz time 'oom-ching-ching', repeat, then hold G and C, letting go of C this time...

The reason why it works is because the C chord is c-e-g, and the chord of F is f-a-c, so only the C strings will sound.

Sounds complicated, but is really simple!! Hah! Just experiment!


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Grab
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 08:23 AM

I've got a friend who's been thinking about getting an autoharp for a while. If you're still looking to get rid of it, drop me a line and I'll see if she's interested. She lives in Cambridge but commutes to Imperial College in London every day, so maybe some kind of handover somewhere in London would be possible.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:09 AM

Bernard, that is the sort of thing I have done, suggesting the tune while singing - but not what the local experts do.

I have to be brutally honest with myself. One - there is precious little chance of getting the opportunity to perform anything, as I used to, locally. (I might move in a few years...) Two - the sound the autoharp makes doesn't fit as well with my voice as an acoustic guitar. (It was fine with a bunch of junior school children.) Three - I don't have a good track record of keeping on with things without any positive feedback.

So thanks for all the encouragement, and I will try to get going with it again....

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 07:49 AM

Penny,

Keep it up!

... as the Actress said to the Bishop ...


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Kaleea
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 03:58 PM

I would suggest that you go to autoharp.org where the cyberpluckers meet up. You can ask the experts just about anything, and get advice about all things autoharp, including value of autoharps and the when & where of workshops. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: BanjoRay
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 09:21 PM

Willa - the exact format of the Gainsborough workshops are being sorted out by nickp over the next couple of weeks, but there will be at least one and more probably two autoharp workshops of around 90 minutes on the Saturday given by Mike Fenton who'll also be playing in the Friday evening concert. Mike's one of the world's best players.
Ray


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: moongoddess
Date: 17 Jan 07 - 10:12 PM

Keep the autoharp and play it! I have had my Oscar Schmit since the early 70's and have thought of selling it. Then my granson listens to me play it and I am convinced that I will keep it! Maybe even learn to play all those Carter Family songs on it.


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Willa
Date: 18 Jan 07 - 03:12 PM

Thanks, Ray


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 May 07 - 02:50 PM

I have now sold the autoharp to the musical son of a colleague, who is delighted with it.

I did try with it again first, but it's gone somewhere where it will be better played.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: Waddon Pete
Date: 20 May 07 - 04:26 PM

Hello,

Its funny how sometimes you misread words! For a moment there, with the juxtaposition of "I broke my banjo's neck"..that I thought this thread was called autoharp injury!

How bizarre!

Best wishes,

Peter


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 20 May 07 - 08:06 PM

Sincerely sorry Penny...you could have:

Learned the picking/struming patterns (similar to bluegrass BUT MUCH easier)

The old beast had twenty to thirty years more pleasure for you.

Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 21 May 07 - 01:11 PM

I must disagree with Bernard. The Autoharp is definitely well-suited for playing melodies. Anyone who makes this claim has never heard Bryan Bowers, Mike Seeger, Maybelle Carter, Mike Fenton, Becky Blackley, The Snows, The Benfields or even Garrison Keeler (sp?).


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Subject: RE: Autoharp Inquiry
From: GUEST,Penny S.(elsewhere)
Date: 23 May 07 - 05:01 AM

I did give it a try, before posting it on the staff noticeboard. And I do have a guitar, which I intend to spend more time with after retirement.

You nearly convinced me. But the guitar sounds better with my voice, and my right hand does stuff I don't know about on it, which it hasn't been able to do with the autoharp.

It is really appreciated by the recipient, and the money has gone to Bhopal.

Penny


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