The Harp – Over the years, shamrocks and the famed Tricolour have become symbols of the Emerald Isle. But when celebrating Irish history or planning St. Patrick’s Day festivities, celebrants should not overlook the important role the harp has played in Ireland for centuries. Even the Bible mentions the harp.
The harp is the official emblem of Ireland, appearing on the Presidential Seal and currency and in a number of state-sponsored organizations’ logos.
According to Catholic Online, King Henry VIII used the harp on coins as early as 1534. Appearing on Irish flags and Irish coats of arms. It was also used as a symbol of the Irish people during their long struggle for freedom. Beginning in 1642, this musical instrument appeared on flags during rebellions against English rule. It was seen as a threat that the British Crown ordered that all harps
There are various ways to play. Early Celtic harps were wire-strung and required plucking of the strings with longer fingernails. Modern harps are often played with the pads of the fingers. Eight fingers are used, as the pinkie fingers are not strong enough to strum the strings. With practice, many people can produce a very good sound on their harps after just a few lessons.
The harp is an impressive instrument that has been enjoyed throughout Irish history. And its status as a symbol linked to the Irish people’s struggle for independence no doubt played a role in its declaration as an official symbol of Ireland.
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