Pure Psaltery

What is Pure Psaltery?

Pure Psaltery is a sample pack, released in 2016, containing 101 files of recorded samples of a Psaltery.

What is a Psaltery?

The Psaltery is a stringed lap harp instrument in the zither family. The one you hear in this sample pack is a modern build of a medieval Psaltery which is designed to be plucked with the fingers. The name comes from the Ancient Greek ψαλτήριον (psaltḗrion), “stringed instrument, psaltery, harp” and that from the verb ψάλλω (psállō),”to touch sharply, to pluck, pull, twitch”. It also derives from Christian literature in 3rd Century B.C, and a book of Psalms bound with additional devotional material has become known as a ‘Psalter’ from the hymns sung with this harp. The tuning of the Psaltery varies from instrument to instrument, but the one recorded for this pack is 3 octaves in F Lydian (F, G, A, B, C, D, E).

What does this sample pack contain?

The pack consists of 101 unique samples, ranging from individual chords (straight and rolled) to sounds that were recorded and manipulated to create some weird and wonderful noises. There are also ‘accents’ or short ideas that have been tempo matched to 80, 100, 120 and 140 bpm – these can be looped, cut up or rearranged to form full compositions if desired.

How was it recorded/produced?

Samples were recorded using a Fishman SBT-HP Harp & Piano pickup, placed 2 inches from the centre of the main sound hole. With the exception of samples #85-101, all the sounds have been processed as little as possible to give natural tone and dynamics – however a very small amount of reverb has been added to compliment the resonance and sustain of the instrument. The general idea was to have the whole pack be as malleable as possible.

For more information, please see the documentation provided. Note that the download is provided in a compressed zip file format and may need additional software (such as WinRAR) to extract.


These samples are the property of Alex Cottrell and they are hosted with the permission of the author. You are hereby granted a licence to use these samples for both commercial and non-commercial purposes in musical and video projects, provided that the samples are not resold or redistributed in any way, in part or full, either individually or within another sound library or virtual instrument. You are agreeing to these terms of use by downloading the sample pack.