Harp

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The harp is a stringed musical instrument that has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard; the strings are plucked with the fingers.

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I'd add to what the others have said - in addition to two staves, finger positioning to pull the string correctly in rapid succession, muscle memory for the entire right hand that you can't see and expertise to hit a harmonic on any string without any marker. Many players also struggle with the size of a full size harp.

As someone who has played piano and violin, I must add that those instruments are easy compared to everything going on with the harp.

Belongs near the top of the list. Maintaining correct hand position, correct articulation to produce good tone, anticipating and pre-placing before playing the strings... Much more difficult on the harp than the piano, for example, although you can play nearly the same music. You do need to understand music theory because you can expect to do your own transcriptions and arrangements of things you hanker to play. Not so many composers want to write for us because a best seller might sell, maybe 50 copies.

On the harp, you have the pluck the right part of the string, especially when playing harmonics. Good technique is also a must as bad form can lead to getting your hands stuck and stiff when playing certain pieces. I have played piano before and it is much easier for me as you only have to hit the keys and you can get away with not always having good technique. The same does not go for the harp but both are wonderful instruments.

I've been playing the harp since I was seven and found it to be a fun challenge. It also could be considered difficult in terms of lack of music selection-a majority of the music I now play is piano sheet music. Harp probably lacks the vote because it's a rare instrument to play because it never was really updated (with all those lever/pedal changes in between playing grand staff)

As someone who has taught and played all the woodwind for years, and played the violin, viola and piano, I can say that without doubt, my year of learning the harp exposed me to the most difficult instrument ever. I had an excellent harp teacher, but even as a professional musician, I was still on elementary exercises after that year, when all I wanted was to be able to play the Britten Ceremony of Carols after only one week! Harpists are so dedicated that they always make it look easy.

I've played piano since age 8 and recently took up harp for the last 4 years. It is MUCH harder than piano as one has to put down patterns of notes in groups of four (you don't use your pinkies) before you play a note. Looking ahead for patterns constantly is very challenging!

The harp is the hardest. You have one hand doing one thing in a different sequence and bass clef and then the other hand doing something totally different in treble clef. Your hands have to be just so in order to get the right fingering and sound. If you have a pedal harp... Throw your feet into the mix to change key. If you have a lever harp (like me) to change key you reach up in between playing and move the lever. Oy... The harp for sure.

The harp can sense when your arms aren't relaxed, and you will get a horrible tone. The harp is much more involved in how you are moving your body than any other instrument, on top of the pedals, and the complexity of a piano.

I play the harp since I'm 5, it's definitely a very hard instrument because of how hard it is to sound good and to play fast. The violin seems very hard too but I feel like the harp should be second or third in this list

I have just started to play the harp and it is HARD. You have to have very good coordination and focus to work both the bass and treble strings. Don't even get me started on the sheet music!

I both hate and love how uncommon the harp is to play... On one hand it makes it more special to play. On the other hand, it doesn't get it's deserved exposure and glory. And it's expensive beyond belief. I am completely mesmerized by the harp. I have played guitar for over 10 years but just have become so unenthused by it now that I am learning harp. Most angelic of all instruments

This should be at top, it is musically as complex as piano but it really really hurts. I think blood running down the strings is pretty common with some larger harps. It really should be 1-2.

Harp is VERY challenging, especially if it is your first instrument! There is so much technique to learn and you have to be graceful while doing it! Lol

Just the hard. You must play with your two hand and your two feet - Have you ever note those seven pedals? Harp string are tuned into a diatonic scale and the pedals make each note from each pedal get flat, natural or sharp. If you play a music too modulant, you'll use the four extremities at all certain!

Very hard to master even though it's easy to start playing it at any age and size

I've always wanted to play the harp... not much opportunity to learn in my area, so I play the piano and trombone instead.

There are like 7 PEDALS, and 3 options on every pedal, and there are so many string. Nobody realises how difficult it is.

Well this should be higher than the piano.

I think personally it should be in the top 5

You also have to memorize your songs and play two things at once

Everyone here who's saying it's easy, has probably never heard anything other than glissandos and arpeggios. I have blisters on my fingers from harp. I've been playing just for a year, but I play on the school harp and it's $54,000AUD. It's so annoying when people touch it and break strings on it..
I hate having to explain to people that something that could be simple for piano is actually really hard on the harp. Particularly long stretches of pedal up/down up/down.. it gets really annoying.
No, this should be number one.

This definitely isn't the hardest, but is up there with the top ten.

I play the harp as well. It is so hard, all that buzzing

I've been playing the harp ever since I was two years old. It is VERY hard. You have to strike the right chords at the times, read the music, pluck the strings with most of your fingers with both hands AND hold it properly in between your knees and on your shoulder. I think the violin and the hard should be in the top two! I've been learning violin, piano, accordion flute and saxophone ever since I was 2 as well so I've got quite a fair share on which instruments are hard or not :) My harp has 47 strings, so it is VERY heavy to carry around laugh out loud! But is also cost an arm and a leg! It was £40,000! And the good thing about harps is that they don't depreciate in value unless you smash it around :) I've had my 47 string harp since I was 4 and we were about to sell it for a better one last year, and when the harpist came around to look at it, he said he'd pay us £50,000! So really, it appreciates in value

The harp to me is completely the hardest instrument to play. The violin and piano are about the 3rd to 4th hardest intsruments to play.

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