What is harp?

What Does harp Mean

According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy ( RAE ), the term harp can also be written with the initial H : harp . The notion derives from the French word harpe , although its most distant etymological origin is found in the Germanic languages.

A harp is a musical instrument that has strings located vertically and whose frame is shaped like a triangle. The harp is played with both hands, either with the fingers or with picks.
In the ancient peoples of Egypt , Israel and Assyria the harp was already played. The instrument reached its greatest popularity in the Middle Ages and then gradually lost fame. Today there are different types of harp.

When the 18th century came to an end, the main historical evolution of the harp emerged in Germany : the inclusion of pedals to increase the sound options of the instrument. Today the most used harps have seven pedals and 47 strings, made of copper or nickel silver , nylon and sheep's gut.
The harp is used in classical music , being present in orchestras. The instrument has also been used in jazz , electronic music , rock and pop , although not as often. The Celtic folk music , meanwhile, often make use of the harp.
It must be established that there are many and varied types of harps that exist, among which we can highlight the following:

-Mouth harp, also called birimbao. It is a very small musical instrument made up of a metal bow and a steel reed. It is held in the mouth.

-Celtic harp, characterized by having 34 strings and a maximum size of 105 centimeters.

-Medieval harp, which has metal strings and a height that does not exceed 75 centimeters in height.

-Paraguayan harp, which is a key piece of vernacular music and has the peculiarity that it is tuned in a very similar way to that of a guitar.

-Paraguayan harp, which has nylon strings.
The French Alan Stivell , the American Zeena Parkins , the Spanish Héctor Braga , the Canadian Loreena McKennitt and the Argentine Athy are some of the most famous contemporary harpists.
The harp and mythology have a close relationship, since there are many figures in that history who are identified with the aforementioned musical instrument. Thus, for example, the god Dagda, who is the most important in Irish Celtic mythology, is established as having a harp made of oak that responded to the name of Uaithne.
This instrument was considered magical since, among other things, it allowed him to control the order of the seasons and had the peculiarity that he could interpret three melodies: gentraiges (chord of laughter), goltraiges (chord of crying) and suantraiges (chord of the dream).

It is said that on one occasion Dagda's harp was stolen by the Fomoré. He managed to get it back by going to where he was and singing. And it is that, when listening to him, that instrument took down from where it was and went towards its owner.
The expression "closer to the harp than to the guitar" , on the other hand, is used in some countries with reference to the proximity of death . This is associated with symbolic images of deceased people playing the harp or lyre.

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