The 26th Edinburgh International Harp Festival

The quiet and enchanting melody of the harp is not a sound which is often heard today but it is an instrument which is still widely known across the globe – even in this modern age of rock music and pop bands.

The difficulty in achieving the subtle nuances of sound that make the harp such a beautiful instrument to hear are reputably very difficult to achieve and those that have spent even a little time trying to learn the art usually have the utmost respect for those who can call themselves masters of it. Unfortunately the harp has, by and large, started to be viewed as a ‘classical instrument’ that was once popular in medieval times and then started to see less use shortly after the introduction of the pianoforte. Many think that a harp can only be used for classical melodies and, while these usually sound most beautiful, the harp is certainly a lot more versatile.

If you have ever wanted to know more about harps, then the Edinburgh International Harp Festival is the place to go. This year will see the 26th celebration of this annual event which is largely dedicated to this superb musical instrument. It will be held between the 30th of March and the 4th of April 2007 in Edinburgh and will feature a series of concerts, courses and workshops where the harp is the central focus. Here, in the heart of Scotland, the harp is not just seen as being an old musical instrument. There is a burning passion for the harp which is kept alive generation after generation by the passing on of musical talent, the instruments role in local music and culture as well as by the enthusiasm generated by events such as this one. The festival’s atmosphere is one of fun and learning and it is enjoyed by young and old alike. All are encouraged to participate and the harp is given new life as various artists apply it to different music genres.

Last year the highlight of the event was probably the collaboration of 201 harpers who set the Guinness World Record for the largest harp ensemble ever. Their 6800 combined strings were artfully pulled during the ‘Host of harps’ concert for which there was a packed audience and a lively applause. This year’s concert promises to be as exciting with all sorts of harps and harpists featured during the course of the event. So come and discover a whole new world of music by visiting the Edinburgh International Harp Festival in 2007.