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The orchestral instruments: The harp

The sheer sounds of the harp and the beautiful form of the instrument fascinate many. But how do you really go about to play the harp – with all its functions? The harpist of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra will show you.

The sound of the harp is often dreamlike, almost like a fairy-tale. But to create this magical sound, it is a lot to keep track of for the musician: 47 strings and seven pedals! The first harp instruments existed already about 5,000 years ago. At that time the instrument looked different; the harps were small, did not have as many strings as today – and no pedals at all.

This video is part of a series of playful videos on how the instruments used in a symphony orchestra function and sound. In each film, musicians from the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra talk about their instruments and play one or several musical pieces together.

The series about the orchestral instruments is produced with the support of Konserthuset Stockholm's main sponsor SEB. 

  • The music

  • César Franck from Symphony in d minor
  • Anders Hillborg from Exquisite Corpse
  • Maurice Ravel Allegro from Introduction and Allegro
  • Gabriel Fauré Sicilienne from Pelléas and Melisande
  • Participants

  • Laura Stephenson harp
  • This video can be used in music education as an audiovisual teaching material, primarily intended for children aged 6 to 9 years ­­– but people of all ages might still find it interesting! 
  • The video is approximately 6 minutes.
  • Subtitles in English or Swedish is activated by using the CC control in the video player.

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