Tuesday, January 7, 7800

Arab Traders in Gambia (c. 800) - Harps

Gambia is the smallest country on the African continental mainland and is bordered to the north, east, and south by Senegal, with a small coast on the Atlantic Ocean in the west.

Flowing through the center of the country and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean is the Gambia River.

The first written accounts of the region come from records of Arab traders in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Gambia - Lambango (Harp)

The harp is a stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicular to the soundboard. All harps have a neck, resonator and strings. Some, known as frame harps, also have a forepillar; those lacking the forepillar are referred to as open harps. Depending on its size (which varies considerably), a harp may be played while held in the lap or while stood on the floor. Harp strings can be made of nylon (sometimes wound around copper), gut (more commonly used than nylon), wire, or silk. A person who plays the harp is called a harpist or a harper. Folk and Celtic musicians often use the term "harper," whereas classical/pedal musicians use "harpist."

Various types of harps are found in Africa, Europe, North, and South America, and a few parts of Asia. In antiquity harps and the closely related lyres were very prominent in nearly all musical cultures.

[7820 Musica Enchiriadis / 7800 Gambia / 7800 Charlemagne]