• History of the Harp

    The harp is one of the oldest known stringed musical instruments dating as early as 3500 BCE. It's an instrument with a number of strings that are connected to its soundboard. It is usually played by plucking its strings with the fingers. The origin of the instrument is still debatable since no one correctly understands where it first came from. A number of discoveries from the rock paintings in different places such as France and Egypt show instruments resembling the harp. It is these paintings that made people link the origin of the harp to the bow since it resembled the hunter’s bow.

    As stated in the above paragraph, the harp popularity existed in different parts of the world. It has been used in Europe, America, parts of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This wide use of the harp made it become a very diverse music instrument. Although it served almost the same musical purpose, it differed in size and even shapes. Harps vary from each other depending on the use of their strings in different parts of the world. Some used strings had been cut out of nylon, animal gut, wires, and some made from the combination of different strings. This variation has been witnessed even in the modern harp as well.

    In some of world’s discoveries earliest harps discovered in the Near East were found in royal tombs. They were mainly arched harps that would later be replaced by harps that were angular. Angular harps had horizontal or even vertical sound boxes in Near Eastern nations according to discoveries. In South Asia, the earliest harp was referred to as Veena. Its existence is evident in some of the old gold coins used Samudragupta. This ancient harp is still very much in use in some Asian countries such as Burma. China also had the konghou harp which became extinct. An instrument similar to the konghou known as gonghu was used in the ancient Korea as well. These are some of the most evident cases that showed the existence of the harp in the world back in the ancient times.

    From the information stated herein, it is evident that the use of the harp as a musical instrument dates back to the ancient times. Although its original place of origin is not well known, the musical instrument was quite diverse. Its shape, size and use of strings differed as well since it served different purposes. Different generations have made various modern modifications to the harp, but it is mostly used for the same purpose globally.

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