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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
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Every product we introduce into the market contains the world's most advanced natural skincare technology and delivers real, visible results without a drop of synthetic chemicals," says Tata Harper.
Bryan Harper, Bryce's older brother and a pitcher in the Nationals' minor league system, was close at hand throughout his sibling's power display.
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Harper, who was forced to withdraw from the third Test following criticisms from Indian players, said Dhoni should have been penalised for his comments on poor umpiring, adding that he was forced to break his silence following ICC's inaction.
Although other researchers have examined the amount of neodymium-142 in meteorites, Harper says he and Jacobsen are the first to report on its abundance in terrestial rock.
Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (82 proof, 41% ABV) delights discerning whiskey lovers with initial hints of creamy vanilla flavor coupled with bursts of oak and spice.
met Bryce Harper, the former #1 MLB draft pick & Rookie of the Year.
The grandson of company founders, Ron and Katherine Harper, Kluttz is the son of Harper President Maggie Kluttz.
Posh and Becks have named their baby Harper Seven - sounds like a toilet detergent to me.
Stephen Harper doesn't believe in Canada and is spending most of his time trying to avoid himself.
Harper is said to be too cold, too unemotional, too much the angry white male.