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Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture

GUEST,Jack Campin 26 Oct 13 - 06:12 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 13 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 26 Oct 13 - 09:17 AM
Roger the Skiffler 26 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM
GUEST 26 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM
Roger the Skiffler 26 Oct 13 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 26 Oct 13 - 10:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Oct 13 - 12:11 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Oct 13 - 12:33 PM
Harmonium Hero 26 Oct 13 - 01:42 PM
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Subject: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 06:12 AM

Was this psaltery/kantele/autoharp thing a real instrument of its time? From an 1891 stained glass picture in a Glasgow museum.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-24669819


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 08:49 AM

And up comes a picture of a copper kettle...


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 09:17 AM

Look further down the page.


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM

I seem to remember a short piece in a BBC programme (prabably something like "Flog it") where the presenter watched a Welsh (?) instrument maker recreate a medieval harp based on found fragments and drawings- it looked like the one in that window (scroll down,Kevin).

RtS


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 09:18 AM

yes you csn play a copper kettle. Either bow down the spout or bang it with a stick.


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 09:34 AM

Here's a link showing a clearer picture of it Looks very like an autoharp to me, and that would be quite possible since David Gauld started working with stained glass in 1891, and autoharps were around then.


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 09:36 AM

Is it a crwth? Looks like what I was thinking of & in the picture.


RtS


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 10:27 AM

It's a member of the farflung and multifarious zither group. Every time a maker gives a zither a new shape or uses a different number of strings, he gives it a new name, but it's still a zither.

An autoharp is a semi-automatic zither. My fretted dulcimer is a flat zither. A hammered dulcimer is a zither on a stand.

The angel has come upon a zither, picked it up off the table, and held it aloft to play it, probably after plucking some fingerpicks off a nearby finger-pick tree. This is heavenly, because nobody comes along and says, "That's not the right way to play that." Or "That doesn't fit the 1954 definition."

The Bible doesn't mention it specifically, but there were finger-pick trees in the Garden of Eden, too. That was one of the things that made it Paradise.


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 12:11 PM

But look at the link I gave to the stained glass window. Remember, this isn't a picture from back in the Middle Ages, it's from the 1890s. Looks like an autoharp to me.


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 12:33 PM

Too few strings, no chord bars, played with one hand: a simple zither, not an autoharp.

Interesting that it has a wrist strap, though. The late 1800's had a proliferation of zither designs, of which the autoharp was only one.

~ Becky in Long Beach


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Subject: RE: Harp thing in Pre-Raphaelite picture
From: Harmonium Hero
Date: 26 Oct 13 - 01:42 PM

It's not an autoharp: as Desert Dancer has pointed out, there are no chord bars and too few strings. It looks more like some kind of psaltery, but the wrist strap, small number of strings. one-handed playing and vertical position suggest some kind of lyre. The picture may be late 19thC, but it's mock-mediaeval. One has to be careful with iconography where musical instruments are concerned. Sometimes artists depict actual instruments accurately, but they can also depict things which never actually existed outside of their own imagination.


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