Ireland is unique in having the harp, a musical instrument as the national emblem. The only country in the world in fact. The harp was adopted as the emblem of the Irish Free State when it separated from the United Kingdom in 1922.
It is one of the most recognisable Irish symbols, found of passports, the euro coin, the Presidential Seal and other official documents, the famous Irish Guiness, just to name a few! This symbol conveys “Irish-ness” for businesses and other corporatitons and is used extensively.
Some Irish Harp players include Turlough O’Carolan, the most famous Irish harpist. Born in 1670 in County Meath. After he contracted small pox as a young child he was left blind. He went on to learn how to play the harp and set off his career. He and his helper travelled around the country on horse back along with other blind harpists, where they were welcomed with great hospitality.
He is an interesting and puzzling musician as he doesnt fit into any one musical category. His one of a kind style has given him the reputation that loves on today as the greatest Irish harpist.
You can find a spotify playlist linked with some of Turlough O’Carolan’s wonderful tunes, aswell as some more modern Irish harpist!