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The Celtic harp has a very ancient history, its origins lost within myths and legends. Symbol of an entire culture, its history is the history of Ireland. It was played by professional musicians who gave it renown and national pride, and was later played only by a few when, in the first half of the 17th century, Cromwell had a great many harps destroyed since they exalted Irish patriotism. It was then enthusiastically re-discovered through Literature by the Romantics. Nowadays the instrument is a faithful copy of the ancient ones and has a diatonic scale with a number of strings varying from 30 to 34, wich can be programmed for different tonalities by introducing half tones with a small lever that raises the tone of the string. In the past, studying the harp was a long discipline carried out for ten years. And three were the foundamental levels of technique that the harpist had to go through: the first, when no one could listen without dissolving into tears; the second, when no one could listen without uncontrollable laughter taking over; and the third, when no one could listen without falling into a sweet marvellous sleep...
Official Web Site Celtic Harp - Irish Music