Celtic Harp Music

Celtic Harp Music

The Celtic harp is a musical instrument formerly common in Ireland (Clairseach), Scotland, Wales (telyn) and Brittany (Telenn) to support Celtic music. She enjoys renewed popularity in Britain relatively recently, since the 1950s. Smaller than the concert harp, it is more manageable. It has a specific directory born when she was instrumental musicians.

The triangular Celtic harps would first appeared in the Pictish Stones of Scotland in the eighth century and later in Ireland in the eleventh century. In Ireland from the twelfth century and the fifteenth century, blind people who could not participate in usual were then directed to spinning straw for rempaillage chairs or they are taught the harp. The blind were numerous among the harpists of the time and often very good players and composers, their sense of touch and hearing are highly developed. The composer Turlough O'Carolan was himself blind. Thus many works that were not transmitted orally, and a large number of them have now disappeared.

Only three copies of ancient Celtic harps (also called "harps gaeliques") have survived: the harp Brian Boru, on display at Trinity College Dublin, the harp of the Queen Mary and Lamont's harp, the latter two being kept Scotland, National Museum in Edinburgh. The oldest fragment (12th or 13th century) was found in an Irish bog.

His column bent makes recognizable among all harps. It usually has 32 to 38 strings. Today, the strings are usually made of nylon, but there are also string instruments mounted with bronze, steel, carbon fiber or gut (sheep).

The "tabs" (or pallets) also known as "levers", set near the top of each string, you can change the pitch of a semitone to play accidentals (sharps / flats). It generally gives the Celtic harp in E flat major with the tabs in lower position, which can then play in the keys with up to four sharps or three flats.

The Celtic harp is any directory traditional Irish, Scottish and Breton, but it also adapts to classical and contemporary repertoire (jazz, new age, contemporary music ...). It perfectly accompanies the song solo.

Its small size makes it an ideal tool to start learning the pedal harp, although she has a clean playing technique, different game on classical harp.

The Celtic harp is initially an instrument to sound sweet and smooth, expressing mirth, or melancholy reverie. But Celtic harpists can pass by mood, very soft to very surly, the game or the electronic effects.

The term "harper" is used to distinguish players of Celtic harp harp classics.

Famous Performers
The Dagda, god-druid of Celtic mythology, is also the patron god of musicians and, as such, it has a magic harp which is unusual to find all the melodies of the music and be able to play alone on request of the god.


* Turlough O'Carolan, born in 1670, the most experienced professional harpist Irish admirer of Vivaldi. His death is generally regarded as marking the decline of traditional harpist in Ireland, whatever the Belfast Festival, 50 years later, has still gathered 10 harpists. His compositions are still played by harpists today.
* Ruairi Dall O'Cathain other blind Irish harpist born about 1570 and died about 1650. Have served at the court of Jacques I of England. He left us a work that O'Carolan less abundant, but some of its parts, especially Tabhair dom do Lamhe ("Give me your hand") are classics of the traditional repertoire.

* Alan Stivell, Breton, with his father, Jord Cochevelou, has revived the Celtic harp on the continent and led to renewed interest in Celtic and other countries in the world.
* Myrdhin, Breton stage name Welsh, founder of the Rencontres Internationales de Harpe Celtique that occur each year in Dinan (Cotes d'Armor).
* Derek Bell (1935-2002), Irish member of the "Chieftains".
* Loreena McKennitt, a Canadian of Irish descent, famous for its "World Celtic Music."
* Dominig Bouchaud, first prize for classical harp at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris, composer and teacher of Celtic harp at the National School of Music in Guildford.
* The brothers Queffeleant, group Triskell Breton.
* Katrien Delavier (1961-1998), born in northern France
* And also: Mariannig Larc'hantec, Kristen Nogues, Violaine Mayor, Frances Cornwell, Sedrenn; USA: Kim Robertson, Aryeh Frankfurter ...
* Armelle Gourlaouen is one of the few harpists in France to play three different concert harps. It uses the classical harp, Celtic harp and harp troubadour.
* Gwenael Kerleo, student Muriel Chamard-Bois. This artist composed all his songs and combines the traditional Breton his personal touch. She has released three albums: Earth Celt Path and Brume Yelen.
* Gildas Taldir-Jaffrenou
* Jord Cochevelou
* Denise Megevand
* Elisa Vellia, harpist of Greek origin that is installed in the tip of Finistere. She has released two albums when it was part of the duo Sedrenn. Today, she is at her second solo album.

Read also Harp


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