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1422Re: : Who uses sister strings (na comhluighe) in tuning their harp a

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  • Joe Ennis
    Feb 10, 2015

      I doubt that: "So perhaps the gold strings are part of that which came over from Spain? " is the way it worked.  My opinion is that Gold Harp Strings is uniquely Irish. 

      The hunger for gold pre-dates this era by thousands of years.

      During this period, in Ireland, the Irish culture, was a branch of the Keltic Federation, that had lost its technology.  

      The Irish people of this era were very very traditional.  No innovations allowed.  The Blacksmith was not honored, the Irish of this period had only the most primitive metallurgy.  In Ireland, Gold can be found in streams (still can today).  Before the coming of the Christian Missionary (early, they were mostly Greek) Gold had no monetary value in Ireland.  Native Gold (what is found in streams) is easily worked and can be drawn into wire.  The Saxons, when they came, had the technology to draw steel/iron into wire.  Copper was also available in Ireland (mined from pre-history) and could be drawn into wire.  I strongly disagree with those that want Brass Strings, at the level of the Irish metallurgy during this period, they could not make brass; nor, could they draw German Brass (brass made by the cremation method) into wire.  Only Indian and Japanese brass was good enough to make brass wire during this period.   Gold was used for Harp strings because they did not have anything better (during the period from the end of the Tenth Century until the time of the Norman Invasion, about 10 generations).  After the Norman Invasion and the Christian Monastery period, the supply of Irish Gold was exhausted, so the Irish Harp makers had to switch to another metal.

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