Mudcat Café message #3278786 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #142280   Message #3278786
Posted By: beeliner
23-Dec-11 - 02:17 AM
Thread Name: 15 vs 21 chord Autoharps?
Subject: RE: 15 vs 21 chord Autoharps?
Pearl Charles of the Driftwood Singers uses a 21-chord Chromaharp and only uses three chords.

But she is, in my own experience, the exception. Most serious autoharpists who perfrom for others, even if just at social gatherings, use 12-slot instruments and load up the chord bars they plan to use for a set. I have a 12-slot 'black box' Schmidt and over 30 chord bars for it, some of which I haven't used in years.

For a single key diatonic conversion, a 15-slot harp is nice because you can have your 9 basic chords, a Maj7, two sus4's, two M6/m7's, and an add9 or possibly a subtonic Major.

21-chord Schmidts tend to develop mechanical problems; however, making up a Bm bar and substituting it for the one you use least is not difficult.