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|"Harps of their Owne Sorte"? A Reassessment of Pictish Chordophone Depictions
Art, Pictish Scotland
|Ross A (1998) "Harps of their Owne Sorte"? A Reassessment of Pictish Chordophone Depictions. Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies, 36, pp. 37-60. http://www.ucc.ie/faculties/celtic/irisleabhair/iris1.html
|From first paragraph: Scotland currently has eight early, but undated, triangular-framed harp representations. Six occur either on, or near to, the east coast. Of these six, two are on early Christian cross-shafts, one is on a Pictish cross-slab, one appears on a re-used recumbent monument and the remaining two occur on carved stones which have no apparent Pictish iconography. The two final depictions are found on a cross-slab in Argyll and on a cross-shaft fragment from Ayrshire.2 These harp depictions in Scotland are a potential source of important organological evidence as very little is known about European harp development between the fourth century BC and the oldest extant triangular-framed harps which belong to the late medieval period.3 Depictions of other chordophones, like lyres, are more common throughout Europe during this period and it would perhaps be sensible to assume that the appearance of triangular harp carvings in Scotland would be paralleled by similar depictions in other European countries, or at least in other areas of Celtic culture.
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