How Much Does a Harp Cost

How Much Does a Harp Cost?

Last Updated on January 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Have you ever wondered how much it costs to buy a harp? As a unique and specialized instrument, harps can range quite a bit in price depending on the type, size, materials, and other factors.

Understanding the harp market and the elements that impact pricing is key for both beginner and professional harpists looking to purchase an instrument.

In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the cost considerations for buying a new or used harp. We’ll look at price differences between lever, troubadour, and pedal harps, and factors like size and wood type. You’ll also find tips for setting a harp budget and getting the best deal. Let’s dive in!


  • Harp prices range from $500 to $75,000 based on size, type, materials, brand and features
  • Lever harps are ideal for beginners while pedal harps suit professionals
  • Consider new vs used, additional costs, financing, and discounts when budgeting
  • Shop retail stores, online vendors, classifieds, and luthiers to compare pricing
  • Make an informed purchase suited to your skill level and budget

How Much Does a Harp Cost?

The price of a harp can be between just $350 and more than $200,000. Its price is influenced by many factors such as the place you are buying it from, the material it is made from, the type, its condition, the size, and the number of strings.

There are three main types of harps, each with their own price ranges:

  • Lever harps – These small harps have levers on the neck that allow you to change notes. They’re good for beginners and range from $600-$2,000.
  • Troubadour harps – Portable nylon-string harps that are very lightweight. Prices range from $500-$1,500.
  • Pedal harps – Concert harps with pedals that change pitches. They start around $8,000 for used models and can cost up to $75,000.

Harp sizes also impact pricing. Small harps under 40” tall will be more affordable than larger floor and concert models over 70”. The bigger the harp, the higher the price tag.

Factors That Determine Harp Prices

From the type and size to materials and decorations, many variables affect the final cost of a harp. Here are some of the main factors:

  • Type – Pedal harps are the most expensive, while lever harps are the most budget-friendly. Regional harp types like Celtic harps also have their own price points.
  • Size – As mentioned, larger harps will have a higher starting price. Larger instruments need thicker strings and more structural support.
  • Wood – Exotic woods like mahogany or teak can increase the price over standard maple or birch harps. Some use carbon fiber too.
  • Decorations – Harps with elaborate carvings, inlays, and hand-painting add to the cost. Simple unadorned harps are more affordable.
  • Strings – Nylon strings are cheaper than gut or wire. The number and thickness of strings impact the price as well.
  • Features – Extras like transparent soundboards, amplification, or laser-etched motifs will raise the price of any harp model.
  • Brand – Well known harp brands like Lyon & Healy and Salvi charge premium rates due to reputation and quality.

Harp Cost Comparison: Pedal vs. Lever

How do pedal and lever harps compare cost-wise? Here’s a quick overview:

  • Pedal harps start at $8,000 used and can exceed $75,000 for fully carved, gilded concert models. New pedal harps range from $15,000-$65,000.
  • Lever harps are far more affordable, with prices from $600-$2,000. Smaller models under 30” can be under $1,000. Used lever harps cost $800-$1,500 on average.

While pedal harps offer tremendous versatility for professionals, lever harps are ideal for students and hobbyists getting started. Used pedal harps can offer an intermediate option before investing in a brand new concert grand pedal harp.

Setting a Realistic Harp Budget

Determining your budget is critical before shopping for a harp. Here are some tips:

  • Beginners should target under $1,500 for a first lever harp. Used lap harp instruments are great to learn on.
  • Students may want to spend $1,500-$3,500 on a quality solid wood lever harp that will last through years of practice.
  • Professionals need at least $8,000-$12,000 for a used pedal harp and $15,000-$30,000 for a brand new concert model with full pedal mechanisms. Consider financing if needed.
  • Amateurs can find nice used troubadour or small pedal harps for $3,000-$7,000 for lifelong playing and enjoyment.
  • Remember to budget $500+ extra for a case, tuning key, music stand, strap, and other must-have harp accessories. Don’t overlook these added costs.

Buying New vs. Used Harps

Should you buy new or used? Here are the pros and cons:

New Harps

  • Warranty and support from manufacturer
  • New strings and mechanisms
  • Ability to customize features
  • No repairs needed

Used Harps

  • Significant cost savings over new
  • Often solid wood with quality tone
  • Can find rare/vintage models
  • May require minor repairs

If choosing used, inspect closely and ask a harp tech to assess repairs needed. Replacing strings and getting a tune-up is wise for any used instrument.

You might also like our articles about the cost of violin strings, cellos, or french horns.

Where to Shop for Harps

You can find harps at:

  • Online retailers –,,
  • Auction sites – eBay,, Craigslist
  • Classified ads – Harp Column magazine
  • Big music stores – Guitar Center, Sam Ash Music
  • Harp dealers – Lyon & Healy, Triplett Harps, Venus Harps
  • Luthiers – Individual harp makers can build custom instruments

Shop around between different sellers to find the best pricing on any specific make and model. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.

Additional Costs to Factor In

Harp CostBeyond the harp itself, you’ll need:

  • Case – $500+ for pedal harps, $200+ for lever harps
  • Bench – $200-$500+ for padded harp bench
  • Strings – $100-$500 for replacement strings every 1-3 years
  • Tuning key – $20 for standard harp key
  • Lessons – $30-$60 per lesson weekly with a harp teacher
  • Music stand – $25+ for sturdy metal lyric stand
  • Maintenance – $100-$300 yearly for string replacements and tune-ups

Research all the gear you’ll require so there are no surprise costs later!

Financing and Discounts for Harp Buyers

Since higher end harps are a major investment, financing can help buyers pay over time. Options include:

  • Credit cards with 12-24 month no interest plans
  • Personal installment loans from banks
  • Store financing from major harp retailers
  • Renting-to-own with monthly payments

Manufacturer discounts are also possible by:

  • Buying floor models
  • Shopping sales and clearance sections
  • Open box/used returns from stores
  • Demo models used at trade shows

With smart shopping, you can offset the initial harp investment through financing and bargains.

Making the Best Harp Buying Decision

When you’re ready to choose a harp, consider your budget, skill level, and how often you plan to play. Consult harp instructors for advice as well. This will guide you to the ideal instrument.

Patiently seek out quality harps at fair asking prices, and don’t settle on poor condition harps with major repair needs. With research and smart budgeting, you’ll find the perfect harp to begin your musical journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors influence the cost of a harp?

The main factors that determine a harp’s price are the type (lever, troubadour, pedal), size, materials used, decorations, strings, brand name, and features.

For example, a large fully carved mahogany pedal harp with gut strings will be far more expensive than a small student lever harp made of birch with nylon strings. Harp buyers should look closely at all these variables that contribute to the final cost.

How much should I budget for a beginner’s harp?

For a first harp, beginners can expect to spend $800-$1,500 for a quality starter instrument from a trusted brand. Used lever harps in the 30-34 inch size range are ideal for new students and can be found for around $800-$1,200.

This provides an affordable introductory instrument to learn on without a huge investment. Used pedal harps under 40” can also be a good option in the $1,200-$1,500 range for beginner harp players. It’s best to stay under $1,500 for your very first harp until you progress in playing ability.

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