Harp­ing on

Country Life Every Week - - A Walking Life -

❍ A harpist only uses the thumb and the first three fin­gers of each hand to play the in­stru­ment, never the lit­tle fin­ger

❍ The F strings are coloured black and the C strings are red so that the harpist can iden­tify the notes. All the other strings are white

❍ One of the in­stru­ment’s most fa­mous ad­mir­ers was Marie An­toinette, who learnt to play it grow­ing up in Aus­tria and went on to cham­pion it in France

❍ Af­ter the Guin­ness brew­ing com­pany trade­marked the harp sym­bol in 1876, the Ir­ish Free State Gov­ern­ment of 1922 had to turn the of­fi­cial gov­ern­ment harp the other way to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween the two. The Guin­ness harp ap­pears with its sound­board to the left and the of­fi­cial na­tional em­blem of the Repub­lic of Ire­land is shown with the sound­board to the right

❍ The Guin­ness harp sym­bol is based on a fa­mous 14th-cen­tury Ir­ish harp, the ‘O’neill’ or ‘Brian Boru’, which is pre­served in the Li­brary of Trinity Col­lege, Dublin

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