Essay On Irish Harp

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Throughout the semester we have discussed many different Irish musical instruments all having their own importance in Irish history. One of the first instruments we discussed was the Harp. Over the years the harp has changed and been modified, one of the earliest versions of the harp was the small low-headed Irish Harp used from the 12th up till the 15th century. During these times the people of entertainment worked under the patronage by royal families, meaning that the royal family would pay them for their entertainment. Working for royal families allowed them to hold a high position in society the hierarchy went as follows: poet, lord, harpist and recite. The poet, harpist and reciter worked together, the poet would write a poem the harpist…show more content…
Thus a good player must learn to stop the sound of one or more strings, while plucking the next few, otherwise confusion reigns” (4). Some other versions of the Irish harp are the Large Low Headed Harp played from the 16th to 17th century, then following that is the High Headed Irish Harp in the 19th century and finally the most modern harp used in Ireland the Neo Irish Harp. The Neo Irish Harp was lightly constructed and therefore more portable than past harps. The strings of this harp were made from gut or nylon strings and the harpist used the pads of their fingers instead of their nails to play them creating a much softer sound. This harp unlike the small headed Irish harp is played on the right side of the body with the right hand controlling the treble and the left hand the bass (Chadwick 1-2). The harp is the national symbol of Ireland making it very important to the country. It appears on many government documents and even is the inspiration for the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. Often times today when people think of the harp they think of Ireland because it has such a long lasting tradition of being played

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