Musical Acoustics Paper on the Harp Essay Sample

9 September 2017

The Harp is the oldest known stringed instrument. made up of a frame that surrounds multiple strings. The sum of strings depends on the size and type of harp. the concert harp typically has 47 strings which ranges 6 and a half octaves. The word harp comes from the Anglo-Saxon word significance “to pluck” . Smaller instruments similar to the harp include the lyre. which has strings of the same length but of changing thickness and tenseness ; the psaltery. which has a frame unfastened merely on one side ; and the dulcimer. which is similar to the psaltery but which is played by striking the strings with a cock instead than tweaking them. The harp is thought to hold beginnings in a huntsmans bow. in the sound it created when plucked. Because of this there is no true day of the month of innovation of the harp. There are cave pictures that depict a harp like instrument in France dated to 15. 000 BC. The first types of harp were the bow harp. which has a individual curving piece of wood attached to a vibrating vas. and the angle harp which is normally called the unfastened harp. which is made of 2 pieces of wood. one being hollow to vibrate the sound. attached together at an angle with the strings strung between them.

The harp was developed individually in different parts of the universe and during different clip periods but all apparently bring forthing similar types harps. In ancient Egypt there are many harps depicted in Pharaohs tombs around 5000 old ages ago the bulk of these being bow harps up to 2 meters with 19 strings.

Vertical harps known as lyre harps were created in ancient Greece and coincided with the creative activity of the mathematical musical graduated table where Pythagoras discovered numerical ratios matching to intervals of the musical graduated table. During the Roman times the usage of the harp and musical instruments in general declined and did non re-emerge for many old ages.

The trigon harp seems to hold been developed in Europe and incorporated a perpendicular pillar to shut the frame. the effects of this mean that it allowed the harp shaper to increase threading tenseness without falsifying the instrument which besides made the harp easier to tune as altering the tenseness of one twine no longer affected the tenseness of all the other strings. The frame of the trigon harp is usually made of wood with the sounding board being a different type to the chief organic structure. Common forests used are dapper. beech. and maple with maple being the most common. The strings are stretched between the sounding board. which is the somewhat slanted and uncurving arm of the full triangular frame. and the curved. frequently intricately carved. top. The strings are frequently made of nylon or wire. The chief modern types of harp are the pedal harp and the lever harp.

Pedal harps are normally used as concert harps and normally have a figure of pedals at the base which are used for altering notes and for exchanging keys. These typically have between 41 and 47 strings. Lever harps which are normally known as Celtic harps or common people harps. are floor harps and have no pedals. These have between 20 to 40 strings. The pedal harp has been improved to include a dual action so that the note they are attached to sharpens a half step on the first depression and a farther half step on the 2nd depression. The pedals were originally designed with maulerss that attached on the terminal of the strings and pulled down fastening the twine.

The maulerss were so updated to crochets. which were right-angled instead than the u-shape of the maulerss. so to bequilles. which are sets of two little levers in which each twine wrapped through ; when one of the pedals were depressed. one lever would turn clockwise and the other counter-clockwise. supplying a firmer clasp. This was a better system but it tended to interrupt and prone to a buzzing sound being produced. This was so overcome by the debut of the disc system which is made up of two brass prongs ( or forks ) extended from a phonograph record that a twine passed through earlier attaching to the tuning nog. When the matching pedal was depressed. the phonograph record turned and the strings sharpened a half step. held steadfastly against the prong. The pillar contains the rods that operate the mechanism of the pedals.

Lever harps. nevertheless. do non hold pedals or rods. and the pillar’s merely purpose in these instruments is to keep up the cervix against the big sum of strain of the strings. Lever harps usage a shortening lever on the cervix following to each person twine which is to be activated ( i. e. . turned ) manually to shorten the twine and raise the tone a half measure. A twine tuned to natural may be played in crisp. but non level. A twine tuned to flat may be played in natural. but non crisp.

How it is Made

The harp is made of 5 chief parts these parts are the organic structure. the cervix. the pillar. the sound board and the strings. The strings are connected between the cervix and the organic structure. The cervix. where the top of the twine is connected. contains the tuning nog which alter the note of the twine by altering the tenseness. The holes in which contain the tuning nog are drilled at specific intervals so each twine is the same distance apart and that the length the twine will be the right lenghth. when connected to the sound board. The underside of the strings are connected to the sounding board. they are fed through little holes and are so tied in a knot inside the sounding board to maintain them secure. The sounding board is the upward confronting surface of the organic structure. The organic structure is hollow and reinforced with internal ribs. when a twine is plucked the organic structure resonates and sound is projected towards the participants through holes in the organic structure. which are chiefly used as a entree to the strings but have the added usage for projecting sound to the performing artist. and more strongly outwards towards the audience through the sounding board which is flexible and kept taut.

The pillar of the harp is chiefly to back up the cervix by linking it to the organic structure to let for higher tenseness strings and more strings. it is besides used in pedal harps to incorporate the rods that control the mechanism used to alter the tenseness of strings through the public presentation. White maple is the best wood for these three sides because it is strong plenty to defy the emphasis of the strings. The sounding board is normally made of spruce. Spruce is used because it is light. strong. fictile. and evenly-grained. enabling it to react uniformly to the quivers of the strings to bring forth a rich. clear sound. The center of the sounding board. known as the centerstrip. is attached to the base of the strings and is normally made of beech. Beech is used because it is tough plenty to bear the tenseness of the strings.

A modern concert harp stands about 70-75 in ( 1. 8-1. 9 m ) high. is about 40 in ( 1 m ) broad. weighs about 70-90 pound ( 32-41 kilogram ) . and has 47 strings. runing in size from a few inches to several pess in length. Some harps were dual strung which added a 2nd row of strings which were played by go throughing a finger between two strings a harper could make the corresponding chromatic note in the other row. This led to the innovation of the triple-strung harp which was designed to be played with two custodies. The triple-strung harp had three rows of strings. the two outer rows were tuned to the same diatonic graduated table while the interior row was tuned to the outer rows’ chromatic half steps. This had the benefit of vocals with quickly repeated notes being more easy played and playing the same note on either side amplified that note by increasing the resonance in the organic structure.

There is no set mic’ing technique for a classical harp as mic’ing the strings will lose the organic structure and heat of the harp. and entirely mic’ing the sound board will lose the onslaught from the strings so a combination of two-channel braces. close mic’ing and ambient mic’ing is used to accomplish an accurate representation of a harp. Experiment with multiple set-ups is the standard method at entering a harp and taking the preferable coupling. an illustration of this is shown ( Microphones and Recording. 2008 ) utilizing 4 two-channel braces in assorted places around the harp. In this illustration the 4 braces used are ; a cardioid capacitor brace in ORTF formation on one side of the harp. about 3 pess off.

A cardioid capacitor brace in happenstance formation. on the same side a few pess from the harp. A brace of thread mikes positioned on the lower half of the harp near to the sound box on either side of the harp. A brace of omni directional capacitor mikes above the harp on either side. The preferable brace in this case was the cardiod brace in ORTF formation described as being bright with plentifulness of item. In some cases some braces can be assorted together to bring forth a all-around reproduction of the harp but in this instance the braces were placed in many locations presenting stage issues to the mix.

Alison Vardy ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www. alisonvardy. com ) has categorised different techniques used to bring forth a reproduction for certain genres these methods are ; Classical. True Classical. Pop and meditative. The classical method uses three mikes a brace on either side panned left and right positioned near the participants respective manus and a single-channel big omni-directional mike infront and above the harp to capture the room atmosphere. The true classical method uses a LR brace infront of the harp near to the organic structure with a 3rd farther back in the center to give the mix more infinite.

The dad method is described as supplying a strong chiming to the mix with one mike above the participants manus capturing the action from the strings. panned partly to one side and one at the base of the harp to capture the bass of the harp. panned partly to the opposite side with a glandular fever mike out front to capture the room sound. The 4th method described as brooding uses a two-channel brace aimed towards the pillar of the harp at waist tallness with a 3rd mike above the manus centred to capture the action of the strings positioned in the Centre of the mix.

hypertext transfer protocol: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Harp

hypertext transfer protocol: //www. alisonvardy. com/harp-info/medieval-harp-history. htm

hypertext transfer protocol: //www. enotes. com/harp-66393-reference/harp

hypertext transfer protocol: //us. harp. com/history-of-the-harp. htm

Microphones and Recording 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: //www. recording-microphones. co. uk/recording-harp. shtml

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