Thingamajig Thursday: the harp

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It's a New Year, and our first Thursday! So you know what that means"¦ Today I'm naming that odd thingamajig you find supporting a lampshade. It's called, rather simply, a harp. I couldn't find any special reason why it would be called a harp, other than the obvious, so I figured I'd drop a little knowledge about the origins of the other harp.

Called a kinnor, in Hebrew, the harp, or lyre as it was then referred to, is first mentioned in Genesis 4:21.

And his brother's name was Yuval: he was the father of all such as handle the lyre and pipe.

Accoding to biblical tradition, then, the harp was invented by Ada and Lemekh's son Yuval. Though certainly it was King David who immortalized the instrument in all those wonderful psalms. (108:2, for instance = Awake, psaltery and harp! I will wake the dawn!) But the Egyptians had their harps, as well, which can be seen in a lot of their art.harpo.jpg

The Greeks were big on lyres and claim Orpheus as the inventor of the instrument. Whoever invented it, some of the greatest performances, I think, were by none other than Harpo Marx. Go rent Animal Crackers or Monkey Business or just about any of their hilarious films to see what I mean.

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January 4, 2007 - 5:00am
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