The harp is a stringed plucked musical instrument, consisting of two frames arranged at an angle, between which many strings are stretched. One of the oldest instruments, the symbol of Ireland. In the XVIII century, the pedal harp was invented, which became the standard in classical music.
The harp belongs to the oldest musical instruments. Even in the visual arts of the Cycladic civilization, the story of a sitting harpist was widespread. Such marble statuettes date back to 2800-2300 BC . The earliest ancient Egyptian depictions of the harp date back to about 2400 BC .
There are typologically different arc, angular and frame harps. The frame harp is the most characteristic for Europe. In Europe the oldest written record of a harp traditionally erected to Venancio Fortunato (VI century ad):
Roman will give you praises with the lyre, barbarian — the harp, the Greek will I sing praise unto thee Heel tool, the British — at the rot.
K. Sachs and other researchers believe that "the heel instrument" refers to the early form of the lyre — helis.
Since the harp already had a significant sound range in the old days, and there is not enough space for the strings of the full chromatic scale, the strings are stretched on the harp only to extract the sounds of the diatonic scale. Only two scales can be played on a harp without pedals — C major and A minor. For chromatic increases in the old days, the strings had to be shortened by pressing the fingers at the neck; later this pressing began to be done with the help of hooks driven by the hand. Such harps turned out to be extremely inconvenient for performers; these shortcomings were largely eliminated by the mechanism in the pedals, invented by Jacob Hochbrucker in 1720. This master attached seven pedals to the harp, acting as conductors, which passed through the empty space of the bar to the neck and there brought the hooks into such a position that they, firmly attached to the strings, produced chromatic increases in the entire volume of the instrument.
In 1810, Sebastian Erard perfected the Hochbrucker mechanism and patented a double-pedal harp in Paris, which is currently in use.
There is a kind of harp designed for playing together (in four hands).
The first serial production of harps in the USSR was launched in 1948 in Leningrad at the Lunacharsky Musical Instrument Factory.