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Lady Galadriel's harp


Although the general shape of Elven harps did not change much throughout the Ages, decorations on Second and Third Age Elven harps relied less and less on naturalistic motives, giving preference to more abstract floral ornaments. The use of mallorn wood was gradually abandoned as those trees became more scarce in Middle Earth Ė Elves would never fell a tree for its timber, but rather wait until a tree died of old age, and even in Lorien the harp builders increasingly relied on the grey-hued timber that was also used in boat building instead. It did make for a fine, resonant and resilient instrument building material, although it was much harder to carve.

The most distinguishing feature of Lady Galadrielís harp is the carved lorien flower, growing organically out of the harpís elegantly curved column. The reinforcements around the string holes and the tuning pegs are made from mother-of-pearl, and the column, neck and body of the harp are decorated with filigrane inlay wrought from ithildin, which mirrors only starlight and moonlight. In the daylight, the harp would seem drab and unadorned, but the night would bring out its true beauty Ė the harpís body would glisten like water under the moon, and the finely wrought plant ornaments would seem to move like water weeds under a clear surface.

Listen to music played on this harp

from cd 700 years of pop
a lovely melody from Lorien - a favorite of the Lady Galadriel's

Find out more about "Elven" harps

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last updated: 18 March, 2004