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King David Harp Harps are amongst the oldest of musical instruments. The oldest records show harps being played as long ago as 3000 B.C. in Mesopotamia and in Egypt. Harps have been popular in all cultures at one time or other.

In the western experience there have been two major trends in the styles of harp which influence the harps that are in use today. The small harp, common to England and Medieval Europe, was lightly constructed and used gut strings which were plucked by the flesh of the finger tips thus producing a tone that died away quickly. Nylon strung folk harps, modern Irish harps and concert harps stem from this tradition.

On the other hand, there was the "Clairseach" of the Gaels that was a sturdily built, metal-strung harp played with fingernails. It had a bell-like sound with a long sustain. This was the harp of ancient Ireland and Scotland.

Cythara The harps that I make represent the two traditions mentioned above. The nylon strung harps have laminated, round-backed sound boxes, with laminated quarter-cut spruce sound boards. They are equipped with flip-up levers to allow easy key changes.

The contemporary wire strung harp is a modern version of the ancient Clairseach. Sturdily built of red oak with a decorated quarter-cut sound board, its bell-like tone is even through-out its range. As in the ancient models there are no sharping levers or hooks as they would only cause the strings to break.

  • Custom harp design and decoration is also available
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      Roger Muma, 1157 St. Anthony Rd., London, ON, Canada, N6H 2R2, Ph. (519) 649-0309.