The Harp: A Masterpiece

Laura Lee
May 25, 2022

Have you ever watched someone play the harp and thought “wow what a majestic instrument”? Well, don’t worry you aren’t alone. We all have looked at it and thought that. Now because the harp isn’t a commonly played instrument like the violin or the cello, there is a lot you can actually learn about it. Not only is this a unique-looking instrument but there is also a rich history behind the harp. With that said, there are a number of things or well fun facts you may find interesting about the harp. Are you ready to learn a bit more about the harp? Well, keep on reading.

This may come as a massive surprise but the harp is actually the oldest instrument in the world. That’s right, the harp has been around since 15,000 BC. Now isn’t that something interesting? Here is another great surprise, the world harp actually originates from the German, Old Norse, and Anglo Saxon, which actually means to pluck. This is very fitting because when someone plays the harp they literally need to pluck the strings in order to produce that majestic sound. With that said, the harp actually has 47 strings. That’s right, the harp is the one-string instrument with the most strings.

musicians playing together

Getty Images / DigitalVision / Hill Street Studios

Now because the harp has 47 strings there are seven strings per octave which make it have a range of six and a half octaves total. You may be wondering how the harp is able to create different pitches and sounds. Now it isn’t all thanks to the different strings, it is in fact thanks to the pedals that the harpist needs to press down on. You see much like a piano, a harp also has pedals that allow the harpist to control and change the pitch of each string.