Brays (Fr. harpion; Ger. Nägel; Welsh gwrachod)
(Fr. harpion; Ger. Nägel; Welsh gwrachod)
Found in many Renaissance harps and some Welsh harps into the 19th century, these are small, right-angled pegs of wood, ivory, or other hard material that act as belly-pins to fasten strings individually to the soundboard, with one arm of the L-shape just touching the string. When plucked, the strings vibrate lightly against their brays, producing a nasal buzz that intensifies the sound. In many harps the brays can be turned off. Brays might have given rise to the arpichordum register in Flemish virginals....