St. Patrick - History - Legends - Place-names - Games - Links - Rings - E-Cards
The Harp: The Irish harp is a symbol of Ireland and can be seen on Saint Patricks day decorations. Called a clarsach, it is small, held on the knee, and is carved from a solid block of wood. Displayed on Irish flags, coins, and on the Royal British coat of arms. The ceirine, creamthine cruit, and cionar cruit are other ancient harps. The cionar was a ten string harp used by the bards and the creamthine is a six string. Ancient Irish stone carvings and metal work show people playing harps and in early Christian times noblemen gathered to hear them. Men were sent to Ireland from all over the world to learn harp playing.
Unfortunately, King Edward I of England orchestrated a massacre of the bards and harpists of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in 1283 and much of the music was lost. The harp was further set back when it became an expression of rebellion and Queen Elizabeth ordered her enforcers to hang the harpers wheverever found. during Rennaisance times. (1, 5, 6, 12)