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The harp is a musical instrument whose origins go back at least as far as 3,000 BC. The instrument is defined as an open frame over which is stretched a series of graduated strings, set in vibration by plucking with the fingers.

The harp was one of the most important instruments of the Middle Ages; in particular the type of harp known as a Welsh Harp or "telyn". In Scotland, the small harp used as a solo instrument or to accompany singing was known as a "clàrsach". The harp remained almost exclusively a musical feature of the British Isles before it was exported to the Continent sometime before the ninth century.

According to the Laws of Wales, the three things necessary for a gentleman to possess were his harp, his cloak and his chessboard.

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