Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Irish Fact of the Day #6................
It is the Celtic Harp that is the symbol or Ireland, not the shamrock. The harp is on almost everything produced by the government. It is in the government seal. It is on passports. The harp is also on coins.
Brian Boru, High King of Ireland from 1002-1014, had the harp used to rally the troops in battle.
The Celtic Harp has a resonating chamber usually carved from a single log – traditionally willow – and strung with wires of brass, silver or perhaps even gold, whose resonating strings were selectively damped, the extraordinary sweetness of this instrument was described in glowing terms by early writers.
The best-known surviving example is the instrument on which Ireland's national emblem is based: the medieval harp preserved in the Long Room of Trinity College, Dublin.