Historical development of the Harp - Philipp Dangas

Historical development of the Harp

Harp graphic can be enlarged. It is Link-Sensitive [Clickable].

Harp in small representation

The harp is among the oldest musical instruments and the earliest to be perfected. The ancient Egyptians used them as bow harps or angle harps. The Assyrians, Jews, Greeks and Romans also used the harp in early antiquity.

Today's harp is, in terms of structure and sound, the same instrument as the ancient Egyptians used. It differs from these old instruments only in improvements based on the development of technology, i.e. more strings and the resulting front rod, and above all in the possibility of changing the tuning of the strings using the pedals.

In Europe, the harp first appeared in Scandinavia. The Scandinavians brought triangular harps to England and Ireland. From there, as Chitara anglica, it came to mainland Europe, initially to Central and Southern Europe. The medieval harp was still very small and had few strings. The harpist Hochbrucker from Augsburg invented the pedal harp in Donauwörth. The problems associated with Hochbrucker's pedal harp were eliminated by the piano and harp maker Sébastien Erard (1752-1831) by inventing the so-called double harp in 1810. This Erard double-pedal harp is the modern orchestral harp.

Considered remarkable of the harp sound
Download size: 60.4 kilobytes
Use of the Harp in Music
Music composer's Work Style of music
Richard Wagner The Valkyrie Opera
Richard Wagner Tannhäuser and the Singers' War at the Wartburg Opera
Giacomo Puccini Turandot Opera
Richard Strauss A Hero's Life Opera
Nikolaj Rimski-Korsakow Snegurotschka Opera
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp KV299 Orchester
Paul Hindemith Sonata for Harp Chamber music