The Longboardharp is a new type of musical instrument. It features strings, a wooden resonance body and a wooden frame.

Most acoustic string instruments combine stratic and acoustic functions in one physical body.

The design of the Longboardharp separates the two functions. The strings (piano wire of different diameters) are held by the solid wooden frame, while the resonance body is standing on the strings.

The resonance body is situated in the precise middle of the strings. Hereby the string segments at both sides of the bridge sound in exactly the same tones. When the strings are excited at one side, the strings on the other side resonate.

The strings are played with bows, mallets and by plucking. Markings on the string indicate points with natural harmonics.

The first version of the Longboarharp has 6 strings which can be tuned in pentatonic scales based on G. Longboardharp II (see below) contains 8 strings which are tuned in G-major.

Longboardharp    2016 / 2019

string instrument

The Longboardharp is a semi-acoustic instrument. It can be played completely acoustic and with the help of amplification via two electromagnetic pickups (type Humbucker), which can be attached at each side of the instrument.

The acoustic and the amplified sounds have different properties. While the wooden resonance-chamber amplifies string vibrations and tactile sounds (picking strumming, bowing), the pickups register solely the string vibrations.

The pickups can be used for amplification and recording. The 1/4 inch (6.3mm) jacks allow for connecting regular sound equipment.

The recordings in the video above were made with a 4-channel recorder. (2 pickups and stereo microphone). In postproduction, a stereo mix was created. The Longboardharp was tuned in  G A C D F G‘

The longboardharp can also be played by two musicians simultaneously with one musician standing on each side of the instrument. Both musicians basically have the same musical possibilities, and can influence eachother‘s and the mutual sound.

The Longboardharp was created in 2016 and first publicly presented in 2019.

The Longboardharp in details

Live performance for the opening of the exhibition Dzwieki Pierwotne (Primal Sound)   17.05.2019

Ethnographic Department of the National Museum Gdansk (PL)

Curated by: Anna Ratajczak-Krajka, Krystyna Weiher-Sitkiewicz, Waldemar Elwart

Exhibition design: Grupa Gdyby

The the live-performance was played through loudspeakers that were connected to the pickups.

The recording is a mix of the ambient sound and a direct recording from the pickups.

Longboardharp II   2019

Longboardharp II was built for te project bassbediener OPEN STUDIO Krakow (in the frame of the Fundacja Wschód Sztuki Artist Residency 2019). The instrument contains 8 strings that are tuned to a G-major scale. Similar as the previous version, the Longboardharp II has two electromagnetic pickups and thus can be played as acoustic and semi-acoustic instrument.

Live performance in Minus Jeden (Gdansk PL) 2019