The Nifty Harp Project C.I.C.
Nifty Harps – affordable starter harps for new and intermediate players.
The Nifty Harp Project CIC is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, established by Scottish Borders based Mark Norris Harps. The idea behind starting Nifty Harps was to create an affordable harp; one that would make it easier for new players to consider playing Scotland’s oldest national instrument. The result is an innovative starter harp of elegantly simple, reliable and straightforward design.
Crafting the Wee Nifty Harp from sustainably sourced birch plywood, and using CNC routing technology to form the basic frame shape, contributes significantly to the affordability of the final harp. We create all the other elements of the harp by hand and complete the final assembly in our workshop in The Old School, Stobo.
The resulting harp has ideal string tension, concert harp spacing and inherently stable tuning. These are vital attributes that help to develop a sound playing technique from the very start so that, by just feeling ‘right’ to play, it is an inspiring and rewarding instrument to learn on.
The 34 string Big Nifty will launch in December 2020. Following the same design principles of the Wee Nifty, but utilising a Canadian rock maple frame and birch ply resonator and finishings. Supplied with 24 fluorocarbon strings, 10 bass wires and a four piezo pickup loom pre-installed.
“The Wee Nifty Harp is a lovely wee creature that simply encourages people to give the harp a try. I love that Mark Norris has managed to pour his decades of experience, as one of Scotland’s finest harp makers, into something so accessible, friendly and reassuringly robust.”
“An affordable and easy to transport starter harp with a lovely sound. Ideal to take around our community projects to introduce people to the instrument.”
“The Wee Nifty is an ideal starter harp as it is so light and portable; making it perfect for students/teachers to use for lessons and workshops. As they can be used with a stand, we have found them ideal for workshops with people who have additional physical and learning needs, with wheelchair users particularly benefitting from their unique design.”
“I love the size and tone of the Wee Nifty Harp. It’s a really lovely sound, easy to carry, keeps in tune well, levers easily added and can be amplified for extra volume. It’s a good allrounder and excellent value for money.”
“The string tension, spacing and responsiveness of The Wee Niftys are comparable to that of a larger instrument; making them the perfect affordable starter harp. Being sturdy, compact and light-weight, even with their detachable stands, they are so easily transportable in bulk. For us, that makes them ideal teaching instruments for group workshops.”