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The different types of harp cases are hard cases, soft cases, and rigid cases. Each type varies to some degree in construction, available features, and typical use. A hard case provides the most protection and might be used by a harpist who frequently transports his or her harp and needs extra durability. A soft case is more flexible and is easier to store and handle. A rigid case provides some of the benefits of both and might appeal to a different set of harpists because of its particular features.
Hard harp cases are most often rectangular in shape and are constructed out of very hard material that is immovable and sturdy. The outside is often covered with leather or a similar material, and the case closely resembles a trunk or hard luggage. A hard case is the most likely of the three types to have locking metal latches as well as wheels. This type of case would most likely appeal to a harpist who travels often with his or her harp for performances or other events. A hard harp case might also be necessary when flying with a harp so that the instrument has as much protection as possible while being handled in the luggage area of the plane.
Soft harp cases are often made out of nylon fabric with a lining of a softer material. The fabric is often quilted to make the case more durable and give better protection to the harp. A soft case is likely to come with longer straps or even straps like a backpack to make carrying the harp easier. Another common addition to this type of case is extra pockets on the outside or inside lining of the case which provide storage for strings, tuners, or other supplies. Harpists who only occasionally transport their harp or only transport it to local places are probably best served by soft harp cases as they provide enough protection for short trips and are easier to store when not in use.
Rigid harp cases combine elements from soft and hard cases and are generally made with a soft fabric similar to that of a soft case but more structured and sturdy like a hard case. Possible features of a rigid case are insulation added in between the layers, to protect the harp from changes in temperature, or fiberglass to increase the strength of the case. A rigid case can be used for everyday transport or possibly even longer travel.
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