harp


1harp

noun \ˈhärp\

: a musical instrument that has strings stretched across a large open frame and that is played with your fingers

Full Definition of HARP

1
:  a plucked stringed instrument consisting of a resonator, an arched or angled neck that may be supported by a post, and strings of graded length that are perpendicular to the soundboard
2
:  something resembling a harp
3
:  harmonica 2
harp·ist \ˈhär-pist\ noun

Illustration of HARP

Origin of HARP

Middle English, from Old English hearpe; akin to Old High German harpha harp
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

Rhymes with HARP

2harp

verb

Definition of HARP

intransitive verb
1
:  to play on a harp
2
:  to dwell on or recur to a subject tiresomely or monotonously —usually used with on

First Known Use of HARP

before 12th century

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

harp

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Double-action pedal harp—Courtesy of Lyon-Healy

Plucked stringed instrument in which the resonator, or belly, is perpendicular to the plane of the strings. Harps are roughly triangular. In early harps and many folk harps, the strings are strung between the resonating “body” and the “neck.” Early harps and many folk harps lack the forepillar or column—forming the third side of the triangle—that characterizes frame harps; the column permits high string tension and higher-pitched tuning. Small, primitive harps date back to at least 3000 BC in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East. In Europe they became particularly important in Celtic societies. The large modern orchestral harp emerged in the 18th century. It has 47 strings and a range of almost seven octaves. It plays the entire chromatic (12-note) scale by means of seven pedals, each of which can alter the pitch of a note (in all octaves) by two semitones through tightening or relaxing the strings by turning a forklike projection against it; it is thus known as the double-action harp. Its massive resonator permits considerable volume of tone. See also Aeolian harp.

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