FALLING IN LOVE WITH IRELAND 2 - Gaelic Harp and Book of Kells by Carolina Valdez
It is true that the Gaelic harp was the only music played during the Crusades, and it was revered not only in Celtic culture but all over Europe. Such was its fame that when the English King Henry VIII declared himself King of Ireland in 1531, he also declared the harp its official symbol.
Fewer than a dozen medieval harps have survived, and they're different from those we have today. They were played using your fingernails. Their strings were metal, usually brass, and the resonating chamber was carved from a single log (willow by tradition), making their sound totally different from contemporary instruments.
In my next post, I'll tell you about gold and those High Kings, and our experiences in Dublin.