Scop's Harp

Topics: Harp, Music, Byzantine lyra Pages: 1 (270 words) Published: February 16, 2002
Scop Harp

The harp known as hearpe or gamenwudu in old English was sometimes used by the scop during the Anglo-Saxon time period. The kind of harp a scop used had a triangular frame, known as a "triangular harp." The triangular harp made its first appearance in Scotland during the 9th Century, and was normally made from animal bones instead of wood. A scop's harp however was always made from wood; it would have between 9 to 20 strings and range in height from 14 to 30 inches high. The strings would usually be horsehair, but sometimes would be bronze wire if the scop could afford it. Scops used triangular harps over any other type because they produce a louder sound, which benefited them and their audience, since they normally performed in large open areas. The harp's sound box helped the harp produce a more solid sound and was made from one piece of wood instead of many pieces like the modern harp. Scops who used harps had good singing voices and normally performed by song instead of reciting poetry. Unfortunately there are no surviving harps from the scop's time period, but there are numerous picture references to the instrument.

Other instruments commonly used by musicians during this time period were the rebec, a violin type instrument, the cithara, a guitar-like instrument, the lyre, the mother instrument to the harp, and the bone whistle, a instrument similar to a penny whistle. These were instruments used by musicians not scops, but I mentioned them anyway because they were still widely used during this time period.
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