As we all know, I am quite a bit of a dork. What we don't all know is that I got an autoharp for my birthday!! I turned twenty-two a couple of weeks ago, and for that glorious occasion my parents gave me the money to buy myself an autoharp. In case you don't know what an autoharp is, it's a chorded zither (I know, really helpful) which means that it is a many-stringed instrument that has bars affixed to the front which allow the player to choose what chord they play at any one moment. These bars use felt to dampen the strings that are not part of the desired chord, thus allowing the remaining strings to vibrate freely. I did try to name her, but rather waited until the appropriate name came to me, and it did so just the other morning! I just looked at her and thought, "Annabel!...Annabel Lee!!"
I've always been a big fan of Poe, so it made sense. Also, the poem after which my harp is named has bittersweet tones coursing through it, which is appropriate for a folk instrument. I think if one is going to name a folk instrument, she should consider the meaning! Anyway, here she is...
She's a 1930's reissue by Oscar Schmidt, so this model was originally designed in the '30's and has recently been remade with 21 chords instead of what I assume was originally twelve, but could possibly have been fifteen (I'm not an expert autoharp historian). Anyway, the point is that she's absolutely gorgeous, and I only wish I could play her half as well as JoAnn Smith. She's SO GREAT. I guess I'll just have to keep practicing.