Israelites’;enjoyment;and;prophecy.;Cer-tain families were put in charge of the
is known as the father of all who played
the harp (Genesis 4: 21.) King David is
perhaps one of the most popular harpers in the Bible. During his story in the
Bible, the harp is really showcased as
both a prophetic and joyous instrument.
The harp’s evolution from the primi-
tive ancient harp to the modern harp of
today did not occur until the 7th century
people began to modernize the harp.
There were many issues that harpers had
with the primitive bow harp. The pitch
was too low because of the lack of col-
cided to invent the lever harp. The Irish
(pronounced clar-sock). The clarsach al-
lowed the harp maker to increase string
tension without distorting the instru-
built with more strings and better vol-
ver harps could handle more strings and
higher pitches. The most revolutionary
part of this particular harp is the levers.
pitch by one half step.
the harp soon found its way into the Irish
hearts and heritage. Both the harp itself
and;Celtic;harp;music;have;been;impor-tant emblems of Irish nationalism since
was an integral part of Irish life. Harpers earned their living by moving from
town;to;town,;using;small;harps;for;self-accompanied singing, storytelling and
Traveling harpers in Ireland were
known to be at the focal point of rebellions—so much so that Queen Elizabeth
I banned the harp in Ireland because it
promoted Irish nationalism.
and their harps were burned at the stake
in an effort to quell the Irish. By the late
18th century it was clear that traditional
Irish harpers were nearly extinct. Because harp music had always been hand-ed;down;orally,;very;little;of;it;had;been
preserved. The most important attempt
to save the music was made in 1792. In
order to encourage and preserve the old
Belfast and newspaper advertisements
invited all Irish harpers to come and play
for cash prizes. A church organist named
Edward Bunting was hired to notate the
music so that the Irish music would live
on for centuries to come.
Even though the harp had started to regain its prominent stature in the history
The harp is the oldest known stringed instrument; it is considered a
heavenly instrument that has been recognized in every culture as an
aristocratic joyous instrument.