The Harp & Hobbit - harps of Middle Earth
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Harps of Men (and Hobbits)

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Men first took the idea to build harps from the Dwarves, rather than the Elves the first harps used by Men closely resemble the Dwarven harps in shape and design, although Men, not being as skilled at metalwork, never adopted metal strings. They used materials that were easier to obtain, such as horse hair or dried animal gut. Their harps tended to be smaller and more lightly built than Dwarven harps. This type of harp still survives in many places among Men, particularly among the Rohirrim, who have always been keen harp players, as is witnessed by their stories and songs. The shape and size of those harps has not changed much since the First Age it was a harp very similar to the Rohan harp depicted here, that Tuor carried with him on his long wanderings in Beleriand, and played in Cirith Ninniach.

Listen to music played on a Rohan or Hobbit harp

Miri it is
an ancient Rohirric melody
from cd 700 years of pop
Byrd one brere
from cd Rent a Nightingale
another song of the Rohirrim, that was also known in the Shire
Sumer is icumen in
from cd Rent a Nightingale - with Gaby Bultmann, recorder
Hobbit music at its best
Amour dont sui espris
from cd 700 years of pop
a more elaborate song, taught by the Lady Arwen to Elanor Gamgee
Procurans odium
from cd Love, Lament & Lullaby - with Pepe Becker, soprano
A later, hobbitified version of that song

Find out more about Rohan and Hobbit harps

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Listen to music played on a Gondorian harp

Hobbit tunes
from cd 700 years of pop
composed in Gondor in honour of Frodo and his companions
Toccata seconda e ligature per l'arpa
from cd 700 years of pop
a fine example of the courtly style as practised under the last stewards
Chaconne
from cd Love, Lament & Lullaby
a stately tune that was a favorite with King Elessar and the Lady Arwen
Harp Symphony from Saul
from cd: Handel: Saul
another song from the days of King Elessar
Menuet from recorder sonata C major
from cd Rent a Nightingale - with Gaby Bultmann, recorder
A dance tune that was popular in Ithilien at the time of Lord Faramir and the Lady Eowyn
Lamento d' Arianna
from cd Love, Lament & Lullaby - with Pepe Becker, soprano
another example of the older courtly music from Gondor, from the time of the Stewards

Find out more about Gondorian harps


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last updated: 18 March, 2004