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stringed musical instrument of ancient origin, the strings of which are plucked with the fingers. Harps were found in paintings from the 13th cent. B.C. at Thebes. In different forms it was played by peoples of nearly all lands throughout the ages. The harp was particularly popular with the Irish from the 9th cent. They adopted the small instrument still in use, called the Irish harp, as a national symbol. The larger instrument was well known on the Continent by the 12th cent. During the 15th cent. the harp came to be made in three parts, as it is today: sound box, neck, and pillar. The strings are stretched between the sound box and the neck; into the neck are fastened the tuning pegs. Chromatic harps, having a string for each tone of the chromatic scale, have appeared since the late 16th cent., but none has been as practical as the diatonic harp, made in the late 17th cent. in the Tyrol and equipped with hooks capable of altering the pitch of any string by a semitone. A pedal mechanism that shortened the strings was devised (c.1720) in Germany. The harp was perfected with Sébastien Érard's invention (c.1810) of the double-action pedals, which can shorten each string twice, raising the pitch by a semitone or a tone. The harp appeared occasionally in the orchestra in the 18th cent., but its regular inclusion there, as well as most of its solo literature, dates from the late 19th cent.


See R. Rensch, The Harp (1970) and Harps and Harpists (1989).


A metal device fitted into the socket of a lamp that holds a lampshade.


1. a large triangular plucked stringed instrument consisting of a soundboard connected to an upright pillar by means of a curved crossbar from which the strings extend downwards. The strings are tuned diatonically and may be raised in pitch either one or two semitones by the use of pedals (double-action harp). Basic key: B major; range: nearly seven octaves
2. an informal name (esp in pop music) for harmonica
References in periodicals archive ?
Director of the bearings sales department of UPEC-Trading Vitaliy Buhrov said, "For several years of operation of agricultural machinery with the off-hand HARP AGRO bearings with a unique sealing, Bulgarian farmers have assessed their quality and reliability.
To learn more about the nonprofit Young at Harp, email Charlotte Murphy at charlottemurphy@youngatharp.
Eligible borrowers meeting basic HARP requirements (so-called in-the-money borrowers) must have a remaining balance of $50,000 or more, a remaining term greater than 10 years and an interest rate at least 1.
On average, borrowers saw a reduction of about 140 basis points in their interest rate as a result of HARP refinancing.
In this 2-hour workshop, participants will learn the first step of Mindful Music Making: how to "get grounded" and be present with your harp and your music.
If your current mortgage is an FHA, VA or a jumbo loan, you will not qualify for HARP.
If the name "Jew's harp" is right, then it probably reflects the fact that this was a poor man's instrument, a harp with just one string.
MakeMusic Releases New Garritan Harps Sound Library MakeMusic, Inc.
The intention of HARP was to help people who are current on their mortgage payments but do not qualify for a traditional refinance due to a significant loss in their home's value or who have little or no equity to refinance and take advantage of lower interest rates, " said Barry Stricklin, vice president of real estate lending at Tower Federal Credit Union, one of the credit unions which has found the program to have been a success.
The two-day festival ends with a celebratory concert featuring eminent harpist Catrin Finch who will play different types of harps - from the Triple and early pedal harps to the modern concert harp the funky "Barbie" Electric harp.
In fact, in my experience, many people today believe shape-note singing and Sacred Harp singing are synonymous; for them there is no other shape-note music.