W07 - Harps in Scotland Prior to the 18th Century


MON 10TH APRIL

HARPS IN SCOTLAND PRIOR TO THE 18TH CENTURY - Bill Taylor

There is no such thing as ‘the Scottish harp’; rather, there have been many types of harps and harp-like instruments played since the early Middle Ages in the area now known as Scotland. We will look at the origins of harps and the fluid movement from lyres to pillar harps and address the function of string music in early medieval culture. We will chart the development of harp designs through the ages and hear live examples of experiments with different stringing materials: gut, horsehair and wire. We will end with the demise of the wire-strung clarsach and the arrival of the pedal harp. This is a lecture and not a participatory workshop; harps are not needed.

SUPPORTED BY: Highland Branch of The Clarsach Society

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