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The harp of Tinúviel

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This harp is said to have been given by Melian to her daughter Luthien Tinúviel – when Luthien left the circles of Arda, it came into the care of Galadriel, who took it with her to Lothlorien and eventually passed it on to her granddaughter, the Lady Arwen. It is now a prized treasure in the collections of the Kings in Minas Tirith, and the only musical instrument in Middle Earth that has survived from the First Age into our days.

The harp is made from mallorn wood - the light golden hue of the timber harmonises beautifully with the gold inlay on soundboard and column. The elanor shaped reinforcements around the string holes prevent the strings from cutting into the wood. The ends of the tuning pegs are shaped in the form of small mallorn leaves – again, this is not just a decorative device but enables the player to turn the pegs and tune the harp with their fingers, rather than having to fall back on the more cumbersome method of using a tuning key.

Particularly remarkable are the carvings, two nightingales singing to each other. The Elves of the First Age seem to have favored naturalistic bird motives to decorate their musical instruments - carved out of different-hued woods and inlaid with small glittering jewels, the birds on this harp truly seem to live and breathe. A small white gem like an evening star is set where the wings of the bird on the harp’s head cross.


Listen to music played on this harp

Rosetta
from cd Rent a Nightingale
an elaborate harp piece from the First Age that is believed to have been composed by Luthien Tinúviel herself
Miss Noble
from cd 700 years of pop
a melody that was often heard in Rivendell
Suite from "Musicalische Rüstkammer"
from cd 700 years of pop
this piece is originally a hobbit melody - the Lady Arwen often played it in memory of her hobbit friends

Find out more about "Elven" harps


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last updated: 18 March, 2004