Instruments | Harp | Renaissance | Classical
Between medieval and Renaissance times, the harp underwent some simple developments: it grew a little larger and the number of strings increased to 24. Other than that, it was made and played in the same way as it had been in the Middle Ages. An open triangle supported a sounding box on the side against the player’s body and the player could reach the strings from both sides. There were some regional variations: in his Syntagma musicum, Praetorius contrasts what he calls a ‘simple common harp’ with an Irish harp. The former had a straighter, slimmer forepillar and a narrower soundbox (which we know from surviving instruments was carved out of a single block of wood), while the Irish instrument was heavier and more curved.
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