Frequently Asked
Questions
How much does the harp weigh?
Each harp weighs differently because they are hand carved and come in many
different sizes.  My concert grand harp (the harp I perform on most often) weighs
approximately 80 lbs.

How do you move the harp around?
First, I protect the harp by putting a heavily padded, waterproof cover on it.  I
move it by using a wheeled dolly and transport it in a large SUV.  Although this
process may sound cumbersome, after years of practice I have it down to a
science.

What kinds of music can you play on the harp?
If properly arranged, almost all music is playable on the harp.  Most often, harpist
will arrange piano music by adjusting any chromatic notes and rearranging the
music for 8 fingers insterad of 10 (since harpist only use 8 fingers). I perform a
wide variety of music ranging from Baroque, to Jazz, Broadway and even popular
tunes of today!

What do the pedals do?
Unlike the piano, the 7 pedals on a harp do not adjust its volume.  The pedals
actually lengthen or shorten each string to change its pitch by a half step.

Why are some of the strings colored?
The harp strings are colored so that the harpist can tell what note it is.  All the C's
on a harp are red strings, while the F's are either black or blue (depending on the
harp).

What is the difference between background music and wedding music?
When hiring a harpist to play background music you are asking for music to be
played while another activity is happening (such as a party, dinner, reception
etc).  The music remains in the background and the harpist has the liberty to
select each song within a specific genre.  The music is not the main focus of the
event.  Wedding music is different because the bride has the opportunity to select
exactly what is to be performed.  Also, the music is more exposed and extremely
important.  It sets the mood for the occasion and serves an important role during a
wedding ceremony.  Because wedding music is so important, and demands an
extreme attention to detail, the price of hiring a harpist to play for a wedding is
different than for background music.

How long does it take to tune a harp?
The concert grand harp has 47 strings.  Each string needs to be tuned every time
the harp is moved or experiences a change in climate.  It takes me approximately
15 minutes to fully tune the harp.

What does a harp cost?
A professional model concert grand harp cost between $20,000 and $75,000.

Can the harp be taken up stairs?
I regularly move my harp up a few steps.  With help, I can move the harp up and
down approximately 10-15 steps.  Of course, the preferred method of moving a
harp to an alternate floor is elevators.  It is always encouraged to find a
handicapped accessible entrance for the harp and equipment.

Will the harp be loud enough to be heard during my reception?
Although the harp is loud enough to be heard without any amplification, I also
offer to bring my own personal amplifier to any event.  The volume of music is not
only due to the harp but also is affected by the architecture of the room,
carpeting, and number of people present.

How do I select what music is going to be played at my wedding?
I always hold a private consultation with every bride that I perform for about 2
months before their wedding to talk about all of the music to be played.  During
the private consultation we will discuss many possibilities for all of the music
including processional, recessional, and interludes.  I will play selections for you to
choose from if you are not familiar with the music.  I feel this consultation allows
the bride to truly tailor their wedding music to fit their style and personality.

What kind of harp do you play?
I play a Lyon and Healy style 30 concert grand harp most often. I also perform a
Lyon & Healy Prelude lever harp and Harpsicle lap harp.

Where was your harp made?
My harp was made by the Lyon and Healy Harp Company in Chicago, IL.

How old is your instrument?
My concert grand harp was built in the summer of 1998 and is approximately 12
years old.  

Where can I see you perform?
I perform very often in public and invite any of my clients and potential clients to
come hear me perform and meet me in person.  Please visit my
Upcoming
Performances page for a list of performances.
Marguerite Lynn Williams
marguerite@mlwharp.com
773-791-7520

Chicago Harpist ~ Marguerite Lynn Williams
~ Professional musician in Chicago, IL~

Providing elegant harp music for wedding ceremonies and special events.
Harp Lessons, party entertainment, classical, jazz, Celtic and chamber music.