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The Swan and Cygnet Harp Design

Both the Swan and the Cygnet have been redesigned as of the summer of 2016. Below is a picture of the new and old Swan and the new Cygnet.

On the left is our brand new (as of July 2016) Swan Harp. On the right is the Swan harp we have made for over 30 years. The new Swan is more compact with the string spacing the same as it's always been. The string angle is a little tighter making it much easier to reach the lowest strings. It is a little smaller making it weigh a little less and it also can accomodate not only nylon and folk gut but the fluorocarbon as well. We think you will like this new design!!

This is a walnut Cygnet in the new design. The main difference is where the pillar meets the neck. In the old design the pillar went up to the top of the neck as you can see in the Cherry Cygnet below. With the new design, the pillar connects under the neck making the harp more compact and lighter. Also the string angle is tighter contributing to a more compact design which also makes it easier to reach the lowest string. This harp has also been redesigned to accomodate nylon, gut, and fluorocarbon strings.


The soundboxes on the Swan and the Cygnet are exactly the same construction and size. We could stop part way through construction and change a Swan into a Cygnet or vice versa. They are the exact same box. They have a graceful and comfortable staved back (semi-rounded) soundbox, lined with contrasting binding.

A Cherry Cygnet and a Koa Swan



Our Swans and Cygnets come with a veneered solid wood soundboard. The veneer helps cut the overtones and gives your harp a very smooth and uniform look. We highly recommend the spruce soundboard for your harp as that gives the clearest tone; however, you can choose spruce or cedar veneer. The harps belo wcherry with a spruce soundboard and koa with a cedar veneer.

Spruce is in the left and cedar is on the right.

The string rib down the middle of the harp can be light or dark on either veneer. The harps above have matching string ribs to their soundboards.



The Swan T-Braced pillar

The pillar of the Swan has an elegant T-Brace that matches the soundbox wood. This not only adds strength to the pillar but creates a beautiful front showpiece to your harp.

Koa and Cherry Swans

Hear Joanna Mell play a Thormahlen harp. All tunes except 4 are played on her Cherry Swan.


The Cygnet Pillar

The pillar of the Cynget has been redesigned to look like our new Serenade harp. It makes it a little more compact. It gives this harp a beautiful nighttime sillouette.



Walnut, Cherry, Maple and Koa Cygnets



The piano pin block in the center of the harp neck makes the neck virtually unbreakable. The same construction is used on the Swans and the Cygnets. The harp below is a Walnut Swan which has the stained neck.

To make the harp neck, Dave takes a piece of wood that is like the wood the harp box is made out of and splits it down the center. He opens it up and puts the piano pin block in between, like a sandwich, with the bread being the harp wood and the piano pin block being the sandwich filling. He glues it all together to make a gorgeous and strong harp neck.

The name plate comes on every Swan harp to give even more strength to the joint between the pillar and the neck. It is a traditional harp feature.

The Cygnet pillar is shorter than the Swan Pillar and is constructed a little differently thus not needing the name plate reinforcement.



We use the Camac levers as the standard lever on all of our harps. They have the clearest levered tone available. They are easy to regulate using the threaded bridge pins. They are also color coded for ease in flipping levers. The Truitts and Lovelands are available upon request and may have an upcharge.


There is rubber on the bottom of the feet of all our harps, which helps to keep the harp from slipping when playing on an uncarpeted floor.

This picture on the left shows the short feet which are standard on all of the harps except the Swan which come with the taller feet. Of course, you can get short feet on the Swan (no extra charge) or tall feet on any of the other harps ($200). When you get the taller feet, the harp won't fit in it's regular case, so we give you a Swan case for your harp.

If you have any questions about any of these details, please feel free to email or call us. Contact information is below.

Here are some video clips of Joanna Mell playing her Cherry Swan

Si Beg Si Mor

Calliope House and Jig Medley


Back to the models page. Endorsements for the Swan, Endorsements for the Cygnet


Thormahlen Harps | 1876 SW Brooklane Corvallis, Oregon 97333 | (541) 753-4334 | harps@thorharp.com