Diatonic harp

Cebu, Republic of the Philippines
MID - XX Century

Total height: cm 144
Maximum depth: cm 65,1
Weight: kg 12,3
No. of strings: 26
Materials: wood, wire

This harp represents an early masterpiece of the art of making stringed instruments. The neck, traditionally engraved and carved in the shape of a horse head, is hollowed out of a solid block of wood while the soundboard is made up of five slats literally sewn together with wire. The soundboard is made up of fourteen wooden strips held together by wooden tacks and the three sound holes are engraved in the middle slat of the soundbox. There is a considerable discrepancy between the number of wooden tuning pegs on the neck and the number of eyelet's on the soundboard. This harp comes from Cebu in the Philippines, and belongs to a musical tradition which is almost extinct. The instrument is typical of the Spanish baroque harp, which was introduced to the world by the Jesuit missionaries.