picture (image is 133K - photo by Cait Hutnik) is a Triplett Celtic model, with 34 strings (in a single row) and levers on each string. Verlene tunes her harp to the key of F major, meaning all natural notes except for the B which she tunes to Bb. The levers allow her to change the pitch of each string up by one half step. This allows playing in different keys without retuning the harp.
arp and cross strung chromatic harp. The "single row diatonic lever harp" is just a detailed definition of what is commonly known as a folk harp or a Celtic harp. The harp in this
The cross-strung chromatic harp has all of the notes -- both the white keys and the black keys of the piano. The strings cross in the middle so that either hand can play both the natural notes and the sharps and flats. The harp in this picture, is the 61 string cross-strung chromatic harp made by Blessley Instruments. Standing with Verlene in the photo is harpmaker Mark Blessley.
Her students bring a variety of harps ranging from small nylon harps with as few as 19 strings, and no levers, to larger harps like her Triplett, and from wire strung harps to cross strung harps. Each student's lessons are centered around what kind of harp the student has, what kind of music the student wants to play, and what kind of musical background the student has.
As an active member of Harper's Hall & culinary society, Verlene encourages her students of all levels and styles of playing to participate in the groups casual, friendly gatherings. At these events, there can be as many as 30 harpers all "harping" together. This is an opportunity for new players to experience playing in ensemble, or at least along with other harpers.
Verlene has published several books on harp from jazzy lever harp arrangements of traditional tunes to how to arrange for lever harp or how to play accompaniments. She also has books on cross-strung harp, and has published books by harpists Kim Robertson and Aryeh Frankfurter. Check out the books page for more info.