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Harps were most likely independently invented in many parts of the world in remote prehistory. It is often said that the harp's origins may lie in the sound of a plucked hunter's bow string; the converse is considered possible. A type of harp called a 'bow harp' is nothing more than a bow like a hunter's, with a resonating vessel such as a gourd fixed somewhere along its length. To allow a greater number of strings, harps were later made from two pieces of wood attached at the ends: this type is known as the 'angle harp'.
Wikipedia claims that the oldest depictions of harps without a forepillar are from 4000 BC in Egypt and 3000 BCE in Persia.
|Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Harp article (authors)|