Harp reviews, articles, and tips for beginners and beyond
In this series...
Paintings featuring Harps have been found on the walls of Egyptian tombs dating back to 3000 B.C., making them one of the oldest known musical instruments. They were originally developed from hunting bows.
The modern-day Harp is a much larger instrument, which began to be used in orchestral music in the 19th century.
A full-size orchestral Harp has 47 strings, or six-and-one-half octaves, almost the full range of the piano.
This would be limiting, were it not for the 7 foot pedals, which change the pitches of the notes.
The bottom string is C, three notes above the piano’s lowest A. The top string is G, four notes below the piano’s highest C
How To Play
The player sits on a stool and uses one hand either side of the instrument to pluck the strings.
A very popular technique to use when playing the Harp is a glissando, which involves moving the fingers across the strings in one direction rapidly to create a constant sound.
The literal translation of the word Harp is “to pluck”!
Once an aristocratic instrument played for royalty, harpists were challenged with being able to evoke three distinct emotions from their audience: tears, laughter, and sleep.
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