The whole school had a very special visitor today. Harpist (Royal Harpist) Alis Huws came to play her harp and answered any questions we had about the magnificent instrument!
We found out that there are 47 strings on her harp, some are made of metal and some are made out of cow’s insides that they stretch out and spin really tightly. They then hang them up to dry. Next they sand them down to smooth them and paint them with varnish to then put on the harp. The strings are made in Norfolk.
Skye asked: How do the strings sound different?
Alis: They work just like any other instrument. The high notes are short, thin strings and the low notes are longer. I pull back on the string and it vibrates to make the sound. The sound makes your ears wobble so you can hear the sound.
Neive asked: How do you play it?
Alis: I have 4 pedals. Think of a piano. The strings are the white notes and the pedals turn them into the black notes. The discs at the top make the strings shorter to make the different sounds.
Ewan asked: When was it made?
Alis: The harp goes back thousands of years, it is one of the oldest instruments in the world. My harp was made in America in 2012 so it is nearly 11 years old.
Alis told us she plays the harp for anyone who wants to hear it! She told us she has a very special job as the Royal Harpist where she plays for the Royal family and she has played at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and all over the world. She told us she plays a special gold harp which is very exciting!
We would like to say a huge DIOLCH to Alis for sharing this beautiful instrument with us. We all enjoyed listening to some upbeat songs played on the harp this afternoon!