By Susanna Duffy
The harp that once through Tara’s halls the soul of music shed, now hangs as mute on Tara’s walls, as if that soul were fled. So sleeps the pride of former days, so glory’s thrill is o’er, and hearts that once beat high for praise, now feel that pulse no more.
To tell the history of the Irish harp is to tell the history of the Irish people. This ancient folk instrument with its beautiful, delicate sound is played today despite being ignored, derided and proscribed for centuries. Harpers, who in earlier days would have been hanged for their art, now flourish throughout the world, as do the Irish themselves
Legend tell us the first harp was owned by Dagda, a chief among the Tuatha De Danaan. At one time during a war with the Fomorians, the gods of cold and darkness, his harp was stolen but later recovered by Lugh and Ogma. When it was returned it had aquired two secret names and the ability to call forth summer and winter.Continue reading The Irish Harp