About

Welcome to Soundtree Harps

This is the website of Neil Craig, a Scottish maker of ‘organic’ lyres.

Ok…you might be asking yourself, where are the harps? I have found most people relate to the word ‘harp’ and not so much ‘lyre’, so I have borrowed it for convenience, even if technically my creations are lyres, as the strings are parallel to the soundboard. ‘Chordophones’ doesn’t really slip of the tongue very easily!

My lyres are created by entirely by hand from one piece of wood. There are no joints involved. This may allow the sound vibrations to pass through the instrument more freely. The different shapes are inspired by historic classic lyre designs and also arise out of my imagination after a period of time ‘just looking’ at the timber (while drinking a cup of tea of course). This zen-like process allows the wood to ‘speak to me’ if you like, before taking a pencil and sketching outlines on the timber.

Some of my lyres have traditional harp or zither pins fitted for tuning, others have broken from tradition and feature guitar tuners. These can make tuning a bit easier and more precise. All wood used to make the lyres is sustainably sourced and originates from Scotland, with the exception of the front soundboards which are luthier grade European or N. American.

All the lyres are strung with acoustic guitar strings. This makes finding replacement strings a piece of cake. Before stringing I apply linseed oil which soaks into the wood and brings out the deep grain patterns, then I apply thin layers of a blended oil which hardens and gives a protective coating.

Prices vary and range from £150 – £450 & postage. All lyres come with a tuning key and string tuning info. Please contact me for stock availability, lyre build requests, prices, weather forecasts, fashion tips and anything else.

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