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Music Term: Harp

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Definition and background:

A plucked stringed instrument of ancient origin, the modern orchestral harp has a somewhat triangular frame with forty-seven strings, encompassing a range of C' to g'''' . The harp is diatonic, but has a system of pedals which allow the key to be changed by changing the tuning of certain notes by up to two semitones. The harp has a pillar, which helps support the tension of the strings. The pillar is attached to the neck at the top, and to the soundboard at the base, which is in turn connected to the strings. The soundboard is connected at the top to the neck of the instrument, where the action plates are positioned. Also [Fr.] harpe; [Ger.] Harfe; [It.] arpa.

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