When travel, portability and price are important considerations, the small harp of 26 or fewer strings is often the harp of choice. We typically refer to these smaller harps as “lap” harps. This is probably not an accurate description of such harps, as few harps are very lap friendly. That is, they are typically light weight and tend to shift around on the lap when the strings are plucked. They can sometimes be held between the knees, but depending on the size and shape of the base area of the harp, this can be uncomfortable for the legs.
At the same
time, a small harp can be precarious to stabilize while the hands are
occupied adjusting sheet music, tuning, etc. We, like most other makers
of small harps, usually attempt to overcome these obstacles by making
available for purchase lap sticks, shoulder and/or waist straps. These
aids do help, but are never a perfect answer for the question of how to
keep the “lap” harp in place on the lap. The result is that many, if not most, so called lap harps end up being placed on a small table, stool, or chair when played.
even with these limitations, the small harp fills a definite need in
the harp culture, though the buyer of such instruments should be aware
of and expect to deal with these shortcomings.