just to let you know that my wife just bought an Oscar Schmidt Autoharp - the black '30’s reissue model.
I have to say that as a guitarist with almost 40 years playing experience (and 5 months on mando!) I was very snooty and sceptical about autoharps. After all, they’re just chord machines for lazy people who can’t be bothered to learn to play a “real” instrument, right? (Actually, my wife plays finger-style guitar very nicely).
I have to say that I’ve totally changed my mind. Yes, you can just bash away at chords, but you can also get real tunes out of them too! In the same way that you suck and blow with a harmonica, you can also go back and forth with the chord buttons to get some really nice melodies and passing notes.
Wildwood Flower sounds absolutely lovely on it (until I hit the wrong button!).
In summary - it’s no good for rock’n’roll, and it’ll never replace my guitars or mando, but it can be so much more than just a “chord machine” in the right hands (not mine!).