Tuning keys

I have made a copule of tuning keys recently.

The first one is a normal T shaped key in bog oak, with gilded bands. The gold against the black of the bog oak looks really lush. This one has a brass prong, which goes nicely with the gold. I have yet to try a gilded key with a steel prong – I am not sure how well it would work visually. Though you could make a grumpy argument that a harp with steel pins is not high-spec enough to deserve a gilded key I suppose!

The second key is an experiment, something a bit different. I had an offcut of bog oak that was too pointed at one end for a normal T shaped key handle, so I had the idea of doing a long key, with the socket in the end. I have been aware for a while of the tuning key from Sigtuna, which dates from around 1200 and is labelled by its runic inscription as belonging to a harp, so I think there can be little doubt that it really is a tuning key (unlike many of the objects labelled as such in museums and commentaries!)

pendant_w800The new key is not a replica of the Sigtuna key, though having at last sourced good photos of the original I may try that at some point. It is more of an artistic statement, a piece of wearable jewelry that also is a functional key.

I say functional – I have not been able to try it out! It has a 4.8mm socket, to fit the standard pedal harp sized pins, but I don’t have a harp here that it will fit! I will try it tomorrow on one of the rental harps in Dundee when I am in for my class.

If you want more info on my keys, check them out at the Emporium.

2 thoughts on “Tuning keys”

  1. It does work, I would say it is about as tricky as using a keyring key. Definetly more stylish than practical, but nonetheless usably stylish!

  2. Hello, Simon.
    “Really lush” is an apt description of the first key, which I think is the very one that a certain friend we have in common sent along to my home two days ago. What a gorgeous piece of work. The bog oak perfectly complements the bog oak back and walnut neck of my Trinity. Thank you. –Sue P.

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