Instruments of the Orchestra

Noah Lane and Cooper Fitzpatrick instrument: Harp


The harp is a very special string instrument in the orchestra. Humans have been playing different shapes and sizes of harps for thousands of years, but the modern concert harp that we see in the orchestra was developed in the early 19th century. This kind of harp about 45 strings stretched between the neck and the soundboard. Together, the soundboard and the resonator make the harp louder and easier to hear. The forepillar gives the harp the strength to keep the strings tightly stretched.
Soothing relaxation stress relief harp music


The harpist turns the tuning pins to make sure each string is exactly in tune. The hole harp rests on the pedestal. The crown sits on top of the forepillar. its main job is to look pretty. Indeed, harps are simply beautiful to look at. They are works of art even before they make a single sound.

Famous Harp players

Turlough O’Carolan. Blind by age 18 due to smallpox, he traveled around his native Ireland and played for little more than a meal and a place to stay. He wrote many tunes for the harp and many of them are still played today.


To play the Harp, the harpist sits behind the resonator, tilts the whole instrument back a little, and rests it on his or her shoulder. The harpist reaches forward with one hand on either side of the strings and plucks the strings with all the fingers except the pinkies. With so many strings it would be easy to lose track of them, but some of the strings are coloured to help out.