Salvi Harps

Picture of 3 Salvi Harps

Salvi's History

It was a passionate commitment to the improvement of his art that drove the young harpist, Victor Salvi, to build his first harp in 1954. Today, this same commitment serves as the foundation for Salvi Harps, where craftsmen and engineers work side by side, devoted to the integration of the time honored tradition of old-world craftsmanship with the continuing technological advancements of the 20th century. This marriage of science and art has resulted in a truly superior instrument, an exquisite harp whose deep, rich, melodic tone resonates throughout concert halls and practice rooms around the world.

Master craftsmen at the Salvi Harp Workshop, nestled in the hills of the picturesque Italian countryside, take great pride in individually handcrafting each instrument. It is under these craftsmen's watchful eyes, that each harp is built with the strictest quality control standards from only the finest woods. Spruce is hand-selected from the tone-rich forests of Europe, the same forests from which the world's greatest violins have been produced, and solid White Maple from the lush forests of Upper Michigan is chosen for its stability and resilience.

These woods are crafted into an instrument of great beauty, whose very composition is inspired by the music of the harp. From the magnificent wood inlay on the Arianna to the sculpted column of the Scolpita, Salvi harps has continually departed from the traditional designs of the period, always striving to evolve the art form.

This quest for evolution, combined with years of research and development, has placed Salvi Harps at the forefront of innovative harp design. Intensive research on the mechanics of the harp led to the introduction of the first corrosion-resistant stainless-steel action. An action that utilizes specially engineered nylon bushings and double bearing surfaces to reduce friction within the harp, thus, allowing the pedals to move freely with the action, in one silent, fluid motion. Salvi strove to further improve the performance capabilities of the harp through the invention of a high-grade laminated neck. The resilience of this laminated neck adds structural resistance to the pull of the strings, safeguarding the harp against any damage to the neck while at the same time, sustaining its intonation.

It is this continual quest for perfection in design and construction that has resulted in an instrument of brilliant expression, producing perfect half-tones and precise pitch, an instrument worthy of the performers for whom it is created. It is with these instruments that Salvi Harps extends our commitment to the future advancement of the harp. For every music lover, young student, or professional, we stand behind this commitment in our unwavering support of the fine art of harp performance. From sponsoring masterclasses and competitions throughout the world, to commissioning outstanding new works for the harp, Salvi Harps truly offers each harpist the tools through which beautiful music may be created.

Craftsmanship and Design

As aesthetic and engineering masterpieces, Salvi harps are created with an equal mixture of artistic and technological expertise. These two types of expertise work hand-in-hand at Salvi to such an extent that it is impossible to discuss aspects of one without touching upon facets of the other. The visible physical beauty of the Salvi column with its intricate hand carving and gilding, for example, is supported by the unseen beauty of the physics behind the column's design.

Responsible for bearing almost one and a quarter (1-1/4) tons of tension, Salvi columns are tilted against the angled pull of the strings, creating a balanced and stable triangle of column, strings, and neck.

As another area of the harp forced to endure several tons of pressure, the soundboard must be carefully designed and engineered. Each piece of high-quality European spruce used in Salvi soundboards is tested with an Ultrasound meter to discover the potential acoustical output for a particular piece of spruce. Salvi master craftsmen and engineers can then pinpoint the optimum location on the soundboard for that piece of spruce to produce the balanced tonal quality sought by harpists worldwide. Superb soundboard engineering is complemented by artistry in decoration, depicting floral or geometric designs. Expert Italian craftsmen hand paint all soundboard decorations, a feature unique to Salvi harps.

Innovation and Service

The quest to build the perfect harp is one that requires the relentless dedication and innovation Salvi has shown throughout the years. Salvi actions were the first to be constructed of corrosion-resistant stainless steel with nylon bearings, giving the Salvi action its silent, fluid motion and producing less friction inside the harp. This, in turn, assures a long life for the mechanism. Your harp's most pressure- sensitive area, its neck, is crafted from many laminations of beech glued together under high pressure to form an impenetrable bond between wood and adhesives, thereby safeguarding against the danger of a cracked neck. Since the laminations run predominately 90 degrees to the harp strings, structural resistance is added to the pull of the strings. This unique Salvi neck also allows the harp to maintain its intonation and regulation for a long period of time.

While the crafting of a superior quality harp is the primary aim of the Salvi company, it is by no means Salvi's only contribution to the harp world. With offices all over the globe offering a variety of services from road regulation to selling strings and harp accessories, Salvi provides technical support and assistance to harpists worldwide. Salvi also participates in numerous programs that foster the art of harp playing, such as sponsoring recitals, establishing national harp competitions, and publishing a variety of harp music.

*We work really hard to keep the prices on our web site as up-to-date as possible. Some of our harps come with special finishes, decorations or additional levers and are priced accordingly. We occasionally have "slightly used" harps for somewhat less. All prices are subject to change without notice; call us and we'll be happy to quote you current prices and finish availability on all our harps.