• WordNet 3.6
    • v harp come back to "Don't dwell on the past","She is always harping on the same old things"
    • v harp play the harp "She harped the Saint-Saens beautifully"
    • n harp a small rectangular free-reed instrument having a row of free reeds set back in air holes and played by blowing into the desired hole
    • n harp a chordophone that has a triangular frame consisting of a sounding board and a pillar and a curved neck; the strings stretched between the neck and the soundbox are plucked with the fingers
    • n harp a pair of curved vertical supports for a lampshade
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Jack took the harp Jack took the harp
An old man plays a harp An old man plays a harp

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Harp (Astron) A constellation; Lyra, or the Lyre.
    • Harp A grain sieve.
    • Harp A musical instrument consisting of a triangular frame furnished with strings and sometimes with pedals, held upright, and played with the fingers.
    • Harp To dwell on or recur to a subject tediously or monotonously in speaking or in writing; to refer to something repeatedly or continually; -- usually with on or upon. "Harpings upon old themes.""Harping on what I am,
      Not what he knew I was."
    • Harp To play on the harp. "I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps."
    • v. t Harp To play on, as a harp; to play (a tune) on the harp; to develop or give expression to by skill and art; to sound forth as from a harp; to hit upon. "Thou 'st harped my fear aright."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n harp A musical instrument with strings which are played by being plucked with the fingers. The modern orchestral harp consists of a wooden frame somewhat triangular in shape, on which are strung nearly fifty strings of varying length. The frame comprises the pedestal, supporting the whole and containing the pedals; the large hollow back, with the soundboard, in which are inserted the lower ends of the strings; the neck, with the wrestpins to which the upper ends of the strings are attached, and bearing the mechanism operated by the pedals; and the pillar, supporting the outer end of the neck, and containing the pedal-rods. The strings are of catgut, colored so as to be readily distinguished from each other; the lowest eight are wound with light wire. They are tuned diatonically in the scale of C♭, beginning two octaves below middle C, and extending upward about six and a half octaves. The pedal-action is so contrived that a slight movement raises the pitch of all the strings of the same letter-name a semitone; while a greater movement shortens them two semitones. Seven pedals are used, one for each tone of the scale, all of which may be held by notches in either position, so that the entire instrument may be tuned in C♭, C♮, or C♮, or in any desired combination of sharps and flats. Thus music in any key is possible, with somewhat extreme modulations. The modern harp has been evolved from types found among the Egyptians, Assyrians, Hebrews, and various Celtic nations. All antique varieties are deficient in compass, in precision of pitch, and in sonority. Most of the Oriental forms lack that important part of the frame, the pillar. The medieval harps could be played only in one key, with such slight chromatic alterations as could be effected by stopping a string with the finger. Chromatic tuning has been unsuccessfully attempted. Pedals for making chromatic changes were introduced early in the eighteenth century. Single-action harps are those in which each pedal produces only one such change; double-action, those in which each pedal may be used to produce two such changes. The modern double-action harp was perfected in 1810 by Sebastian Erard. A double harp is one with two sets or rows of strings, differently tuned; a triple harp, one with three such sets or rows. The technique of the harp is notable, because the fingering remains the same in all keys; while its mechanism is exactly modeled on the principles of the staff-notation. The harp is capable of very beautiful and varied music within certain limits of power and quality. Although solid chords are feasible, more characteristic effects are produced by playing the tones of the harmony in rapid succession (see arpeggio). Such effects are much employed in modern orchestration. Harmonic tones (which see, under harmonic) are also much used.
    • n harp [capitalized] A constellation, otherwise called Lyra or the Lyre.
    • n harp Same as harper, 2.
    • n harp An oblong implement, consisting of a frame filled up with parallel wires resembling the strings of a harp, used as a screen; a grain-sieve.
    • n harp A sparred shovel for filling coal.
    • n harp In a seutching-machine, a grating through which the refuse falls as the revolving beater drives the fibers forward.
    • n harp A figure, likened to a harp or saddle, on the back of the adult harp-seal.
    • n harp Hence The harp-seal, or harper.
    • harp To play on the harp; play as on a harp.
    • harp To speak often of something, especially so often as to be tiresome or vexing; speak with reiteration; especially, to speak or write with monotonous repetition: usually with on or upon.
    • harp To give forth as a harp gives forth sound; give expression to, or utter.
    • harp To produce some specified effect upon by playing on the harp.
    • harp To sift or separate by means of a harp or screen: as, to harp grain; to harp sand. See harp, n., 4 and 5.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Harp härp a musical stringed instrument much esteemed by the ancients
    • v.i Harp to play on the harp: to dwell tediously upon anything
    • v.t Harp to give voice to
    • ***


  • Francis Bacon
    “The poets did well to conjoin music and medicine, because the office of medicine is but to tune the curious harp of man's body.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. harpe, AS. hearpe,; akin to D. harp, G. harfe, OHG. harpha, Dan. harpe, Icel. & Sw. harpa,


In literature:

The assembled guests seated in the great bower of roses heard a low, soft trembling of harp-strings deepen into chords.
"The Little Colonel: Maid of Honor" by Annie Fellows Johnston
The poet's god arrayed in robes of gold, Of his gilt harp the well-tuned strings doth hold.
"The Works of Christopher Marlowe, Vol. 3 (of 3)" by Christopher Marlowe
She replaced, for an instant, in the cold and constant grasp a fragment of the ruined harp.
"The Atlantic Monthly , Volume 2, No. 14, December 1858" by Various
Anson Harp, eighty-seven years old, lives out in the country on Route #3.
"Slave Narratives Vol. XIV. South Carolina, Part 2" by Works Projects Administration
They then played on, and sang to, the harp and piano.
"Gryll Grange" by Thomas Love Peacock
One happy thought fills the spirit; one simple emotion thrills the chords of his harp.
"The Life of David" by Alexander Maclaren
Was originally employed in the workshop of Peter Wamsley, at the "Harp and Hautboy," in Piccadilly.
"The Violin" by George Hart
Quite as marvellous, in the evening, was the Doctor's own performance on the single and double Jew's harp.
"Memoirs" by Charles Godfrey Leland
Sir Tristram took his harp with him, and so they put to sea to sail into Ireland.
"Stories of King Arthur and His Knights" by U. Waldo Cutler
Then was sung by all the assembled bards, to the accompaniment of their harps, the chant in honor of the mighty dead.
"The Golden Spears" by Edmund Leamy

In poetry:

How sweetly sleeps the singer
With calmly folded eyes,
And on the breast of the bard at rest
The harp that he sounded lies.
"The Two Coffins" by Eugene Field
Who plays the harp; he twangs an air
You understand—you've met before;
How many lessons did you take?
Madam, you need no more.
"Vers De Societe" by Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard
For whom no poet's harp is struck,
No laurel wreath is twined;
Who pass unheard — unknown, away,
And leave no trace behind; —
"On A Picture Of Harvey Birch" by Anne C Lynch
I thought to join the heavenly choir,
To strike a harp of light;
While this forgotten, tuneless lyre
Rested 'mid shades of night.
"On Recovering From Sickness" by Caroline Oliphant
And as he stirred the strings of the harp
To notes but four or five,
The heart of each man moved in him
Like a babe buried alive.
"The Song of Elf" by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
But we have lost him. Henceforth unto us
He stands
A veilèd Memnon, no more luminous;
The purer harp-strings broken in his hands:
"The Veiled Memnon" by Alexander Anderson

In news:

Edmar Castaneda's 'Double Portion' Of Harp .
Debate on the popular Irish bar and restaurant, the Harp , which sought a variance to present live music — something it's been doing since it opened 13 years ago.
Misty Dawn Warren, on harp , and Beth LePage, on guitar, comprise Angel Road.
The harp , courtesy of Lewis Creek Instruments and Harps , is valued at more than $4,000.
Straight from the harp .
Delaware Christian's Harp aims for vet school.
Delaware Chris­t­ian School senior Sarah Harp is look­ing at an addi­tional eight years of school after she grad­u­ates this spring.
It's A Harp Knock Life.
City Investigating Home Rehab by HARP .
The city's HARP program pays for home repairs for people who have low to moderate incomes.
Guitar Girl'd: Interview With Stefanie Drootin of Big Harp — Big Bass Talent.
Dean and Odie Harpe of 71 First St, Touchet, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at a 1-4 pm open house Dec 19, 2009, at Assumption Catholic Church Parish Hall.
Every time we see a harp , it's so closely associated with angelic forces.
Trump ' Harping ' On Birther Issue May Help Obama.
George Cassell plays the American Freedom Harp harmonica for his friend John Stamm at Tendercare in Portage.

In science:

The echelle diagram of oscillations frequencies in β Hyi, based on dual-site observations with HARPS and UCLES.
Asteroseismology from solar-like oscillations
It was observed over 6 nights with HARPS by Carrier & Eggenberger (2006), who found ∆ν = 162 µHz but were not able to give unambiguous mode identifications from these single-site data.
Observations of solar-like oscillations
HD 49933 (F5 V): this is a potential target for the COROT space mission and was observed over 10 nights with HARPS by Mosser et al. (2005).
Observations of solar-like oscillations
This star was the target for a twosite campaign in 2005, with HARPS and UCLES, that resulted in the clear detection of mixed modes (Bedding et al., submitted to ApJ).
Observations of solar-like oscillations
The mode lifetime is about 2–4 days and there is now evidence of rotational splitting from photometry with the WIRE satellite analysed by Fletcher et al. (2006) (see Fig. 2) and also from ground-based spectroscopy with HARPS (Bazot et al., 2006).
Observations of solar-like oscillations