There are three categories of Materiality:
The material elements the wirestrung harp needs are simple: wood and metal. But within that simplicity is an overwhelming list of options. What type of wood or metal? Must it be wood (it obviously must be metal strings, or it wouldnt be a wirestrung harp.) How are these elements processed?
The design followed is another consideration. Are specific templates used, or does the harp maker follow the nature of the wood available? Are the plans drawn from measurements of a preserved instrument, or is a more original and creative approach taken? Some harp makers stay true to historical elements of the wirestrung harp, while others add innovations such as levers or bridge pins.
Thirdly, the building methods used can make tremendous differences, even in two otherwise identical instruments. Is the body carved, or is it glued together? Some makers use only hand tools, while others employ power tools. Finishes can differ. The skills of the maker can vary widely, from a beginner working from a kit to a full time and experienced worker.
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