Autoharp Adventures...Life & Death of an Instrument
Adventures with 'other' instruments...
Once upon a time I bought an autoharp. I was inspired to do so after seeing my friend Becca play one in a gig at a small coffee house. She told me to look for one with fine tuners, and so my quest began. I found one on Ebay, and Oscar Schmidt Appalachian model, and I bought it. I was so excited to get my Autoharp, I couldn't have been happier when I got home and saw the package waiting for me. It was the middle of July 2009, I named her Becca after my friend who so inspired me.
A couple of months laterI took it in to have strap pegs put in at Homestead Pickin' Parlor , they noticed that 1) the instrument was hot from sitting in my car, and 2) the sound board had sunken underneath the chord bars. The supports had given way because of the heat. Whether that happened on that day, or when the instrument was sitting on the steps waiting for me to come home I do not know. I did know it would be more than the cost of the instrument to try and fix the problem.
So I went ahead and played her for the next two years, keeping her in tune and out of hot cars. During that time I began a tradition of having Music Circle Parties in my home each Spring and Autumn, and we've had wonderful times together, my Becca and I. Butthese past few monthsit has been going out of tune more and more until finally I cannot get it in tune at all. Upon close examination I found cracks at the corner of the High C fine tuner, with the soundboard caved sharply in. It finally gave way, may she rest in peace.
I purchased my mountain dulcimer this past May after becoming obsessed with the little instrument due to YouTube. I'm very careful with her indeed. I will get another Autoharp one day, but not for a while. I have my lovely Ginger...my mountain dulcimer...to get to know and share with my friends in my music parties.
updated by @beth-hansen: 01/15/16 12:04:30PM