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The Harp and it's presence in Asturias, Spain -Part One - By Daniel García de la Cuesta


Thanks to the knowledge of the existence of an ancient harp kept in an Asturian convent,in Spain, I began to investigate the presence and use of the harp in Asturian territory.

The development of my research on this ancient harp, led me to a larger work on this type of string instruments, which finally concluded reflecting the found in the publication of a book entitled “The Harp and it’s presence in Asturias”, comprising a lot of documentation about its etymology, history, origin, diffusion, symbol
ogies, etc.

This work was launched with several harp musical shows at several places.

Many people found it strange to find in Asturian and Galician languages the word written with “H”, however, this grammar will lead us to know and understand much of the history of this instrument.

Etymological documentation leads us to recover this script that was abandoned in some languages. The fact is that the
word reaches us from the Germanic word “Harfe” and Greek “Arpe”. In this case, took over ARPE the vocal writing of the initial rough spirit named "c", thereby the in blown pronunciation.
In Latin and other languages, the spelling retained the H represent the sound and still remains in German: Harfe;
French: Harper; English: harp, Swedish: harpan, Dutch: and Harpen; Portuguese and Catalan: Harpa. However, the Italian or Castilian rejected this grammar.

The word harp welcomed the significance of sickle, hook or claw, and is related with the word “harpy”, which gives a name to be a mythological female famous for its claws.
This word would be developed with different spellings and initials so
we can find words with a common semantic field that refers to objects that serve to grasp and derived actions from their use, such as: Harpar, harpeo, arpaz, rapaz,harpaxofobia, harpagón, harapo, farrapiu, farpón, farpa, farraspiar, zarpa, farpazu, garfa, garfiella, garcía, garbillo, garbín, etc.
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The representation of the harp, as a female, was maintained and transmitted together the image of the winged Harpies, who were followers of believes of beings in Egyptian deities such as Isis. There are plenty of pictures that show this symbiotic relationship over time.

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