A Daunce


The history of the harp can be traced back 5000 years.  Different types of harps can be found in virtually every part of the world.  Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to say that the harp was the precursor to all string instruments.The harp reached Europe via Egypt and soon became an important instrument of European music.  Harpists, who were both musicians and storytellers, were highly regarded and sought after in the courts of the Middle Ages. 

In the British Islands harpists were important figures of cultural as well as political life.The harp evolved over time following the expectations of new musical styles.  The lever harp was invented in Tyrol in the 17th century.  This instrument's strings can be sharpened individually with hooks, thereby facilitating a more complex and varied playing style. Invented in the 19th century, the pedal mechanism of the modern harp allows for a chromatique technique; however, the older lever harp still is used today, and new musical pieces continue to be written especially for this version.The musical selection of this CD was recorded on such a lever harp.  This harp is smaller and slimmer than the modern concert harp, lending itself to the interpretation of Renaissance and Irish music.