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Harp (Fr. harpe; Ger. Harfe; It., Sp. arpa)locked

  • Sue Carole DeVale,
  • Bo Lawergren,
  • Joan Rimmer,
  • Robert Evans,
  • William Taylor,
  • Cristina Bordas,
  • Cheryl Ann Fulton,
  • John M. Schechter,
  • Nancy Thym-Hochrein,
  • Hannelore Devaere
  •  and Mary McMaster

Extract

Generic name for chordophones in which, as defined in the classification system by Hornbostel and Sachs, the plane of the strings is perpendicular to the soundboard. See also Organ stop.

Normally triangular in outline, all harps have three basic structural components: resonator, neck and strings. Hornbostel and Sachs divided them into two categories: ‘frame harps’ and ‘open harps’. Frame harps have a forepillar or column which connects the lower end of the resonator to the neck, adding structural support and helping to bear the strain of string tension. Harps without forepillars are ‘open harps’. Only European harps and their descendants are consistently frame harps: most others are open. Hornbostel and Sachs further subdivided open harps into two sub-categories: ‘arched’ and ‘angular’ harps. According to Hornbostel and Sachs, the neck of an arched harp curves away from the resonator while the neck of an angular harp makes a sharp angle with it. The term...

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