Playing Mystic Morning is now a permanent part of my daily ritual ~ S.C.

Harp
History & Healing PDF Print E-mail

Angels with harpsThe harp as we know it today has its origins back in ancient times. Records of these early harps are depicted in the art work from the ancient cultures of Assyria, Mesopotamia and Egypt, dating back more than 5,000 years. Some believe that it was the first stringed instrument, predating the guitar, inspired by the sound of the hunting bow. The first bows were made from curved antelope horns with a sinew bowstring. Bows then evolved to be carved from one piece of wood and the bowstrings remained made of sinew which vibrated with sound when drawn and released.

Reflecting the bow, ancient harps had a bow shape and fewer strings than harps today. The smaller harps were often played while walking and the larger harps were played either kneeling on the floor or standing. Some of the ancient harps were made from rare woods and decorated with gold, silver and precious stones.

Egyptian HarpIn ancient Egypt, music was highly developed and an integral part of religious worship and ritual. Harps were the favorite instrument during the period of the New Kingdom and harp players were held in the highest esteem. The temple musicians were the most highly regarded.  They were usually female and priestesses of the goddess of music, Hathor. Harp players also held important positions in royal households. Throughout history, harp music has been used for praise, singing, ritual, and entertainment at royal courts, wealthy households and military events. It is said one who has mastered the harp can make you dance, weep and put you to sleep.

The sound produced from the harp has also been associated with healing for thousands of years. Renown for its calming effect on the listener, it has also been regarded as a symbol of spiritual healing and comfort. The harp is also identified with heaven and the angels. As an instrument of healing, modern studies have shown that the harp can affect the physical body down to a cellular level. The wide range of frequencies produced by the plucked strings of a harp, and their harmonics brings the vibration of sound to affect the listener physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

Today, the harp has become quite popular and can be heard at weddings, memorials, in concert and at other social events.  The harp is also actively being used as therapy with great success in many parts of the world to support individuals in hospitals, retirement homes, hospices and other institutions. As an instrument of the heart, the sound of the harp can lift the spirit and soothe the soul...