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Updated: July 9, 2013 15:16 IST

Old’s gold for this instrument-maker in Bangalore

Staff Reporter
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Craftsman's pride: Carl Lewis shows off the first harp to be manufactured in Karnataka. Photo: K. Gopinathan
Craftsman's pride: Carl Lewis shows off the first harp to be manufactured in Karnataka. Photo: K. Gopinathan

67-year-old Carl Lewis is now working on his third and biggest harp

The harp has become more of a showpiece than a musical instrument, and musicians who can play it are slowly disappearing.

But Cyril Lewis, a city-based instrument maker, is still passionate about crafting one of the oldest musical instruments in the world.

Believed to have originated in Mesopotamia in 3,500 B.C., the harp made its way to Egypt and parts of Asia.

Creating a harp proved difficult for the 67- year-old instrument-maker as he had to search for the right materials to build it.

“I had to search far and wide to find the materials to build this instrument. It’s a tedious process because you have to get everything right. The crafting process took about four months, during which I built two harps,” Mr. Lewis told The Hindu. He is now working on the third and biggest one yet.

Mr. Lewis was involved in the manufacture and maintenance of musical instruments. At 10 years of age, he was tuning grand pianos. He manages N. Lewis & Son at Benson Town.


“Ever since, I saw a harp in a museum in Hyderabad, I was inspired to try my hand and see if I could pull through it,” Mr. Lewis explained.

Unfortunately, people who knew how to play the harp have all passed away. But his efforts have not been in vain; his passion has turned a good profit. “Film producers and wedding bands rent out my harps for a day as a showpiece, for as high as Rs. 7,000,” he said.

Mr. Lewis has also built guitars shaped as cricket bats and hockey sticks, among other things, but he is “still not satisfied. I need to do something more.”

Keywords: HarpMusicmusical instruments

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