The history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments had varying social functions. Drums, for example, were used in religious ceremonies and horns were used to signal success in a hunt. As societies evolved the application of musical instruments also changed and this led to the eventual development of the composition and performance of melodies for entertainment.
Musical instruments developed independently in many of the world’s population zones. However, contact among civilizations caused rapid spread and adaptation of most instruments in places far from their origin. Musical instruments are grouped in four main categories; percussion, wind, stringed and electronic instruments.
The harp is a stringed instrument with ancient history which has seen a resurgence in popularity in the last decade or so. It’s been synonymous with classical music and cupid’s lyre and is one of the oldest instruments in the world. Across the globe different cultures have their own variation of this soothing soft sounding instrument with Africa having the largest variety of them.
So here’s a look at some pop/rock songs that feature the harp and which you can hear at Lovesongs247.
Check out the harp in the Beatles 1967 song “She’s Leaving Home”. It’s really a beautiful song and won the 1967 Ivor Novello award for Best Song musically and lyrically.
The harp is the main instrument in Iceland artist Bjork’s 1993 take on the 1944 classic “Like Someone in Love” composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke. Perfect for special romantic moments!
“I Wish” was taken from Stevie Wonder’s critically acclaimed album Songs in the Key of Life and released in 1976. As we all know Stevie’s a musical genius and the use of the harp here can only be described as mesmerising!
You’re gonna ask where’s the harp in the Lady Gaga hit “Telephone” featuring Beyoncé. Well, you have to listen to the track carefully but it’s used briefly in the intro and outro. Nice and smooth and perfectly blended with this pop rhythm.
Of course it is arguable that in pop music the potential of this majestic stringed instrument still hasn’t been tapped enough. Today harpists like Joanna Newsom and Natalie Lurie are asserting themselves in more and different ways and really nail experimental pop music.
During your next session at Lovesongs247 listen out for the harp! The instrument which has been a mainstay in classical music since the 17th century has long gone beyond those confines and blends perfectly with any form of popular music today.