History of the Harp

Follow the lyrical and sometimes tumultuous 5,000 year history of this ancient and illustrious instrument. From ancient Mesopotamia, tribal African through Asia, Medieval Europe and the British Isles, up to its present forms in folk, indie, African rock, Classical and new folk music. The harp has intrigued and enchanted listeners and players—from the ancient Bards of the British Isles, healers such as King David and the African Griots, to the erudite sounds of the Classical symphonic harp. Follow the history of the harp played on authentic Celtic, Medieval, African and Latin harps. Harps will be made available to try, time-permitting.                                                   Presented by MCMF Director Diana Stork, and other MCMF harpists. 

Some past lecture-demonstrations:

Juneau, Alaska

Top Right: Portia Diwa and Diana Stork teaching children about the “History of the Harp” at the Harborside School in Juneau, Alsaka, March 2013. For many of these children, this was the first time they’d seen a harp. Portia’s holding an African frame harp, called a nyatiti.

Los Baños, California

Middle: Diana Stork playing a medieval harp to Elementary school students and teachers.

Milwaukee, Minnesota

Enthusiastic audiences. This History of the Harp lecture-demonstration featured some of MCMF’s harpists along with local harpists from Milwaukee

The History of the Harp lecture-demonstration has been performed in schools for all ages, and for a wide variety of arts and cultural organizations. If you know of a school or arts organization that might be interested in the History of the Harp program, contact the MCMF office.