Harpist Peggy Skomal entranced audience members as she played for 25 people at the La Cañada Public Library Saturday afternoon. During the library-sponsored program, Skomal balanced the hour between playing enchanting music and teaching the audience about the instrument.
Skomal showcased two different types of harps — a large pedal harp detailed in gold leaf that is valued at more than $50,000, and a smaller, all wood Celtic harp that she purchased for $7,000. One of the reasons her pedal harp is so much more expensive than her Celtic harp, Skomal explained, is because there are at least 100 working parts in the pedal harp.
The larger pedal harp has seven pedals. The pedals control levers that sharpen or flatten the tuning of the instrument’s strings so that it can be played in different keys.