harp is an ancient instrument,
probably originating from the bows used by hunters. The ancient Egyptians used
highly elaborate harps, as did the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today's harp used
in the symphony orchestra has 46 strings, and a huge range of 6 1/2 octaves.
Seven pedals are used to raise the pitch of all instances of each of the 7 notes
in the diatonic scale by a semitone.
Handel used harps in some of his
operas. Mozart wrote his flute and harp concerto in 1778, and Berlioz used it to
great effect in his Symphonie Fantastique.