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The Queen Mary harp

Replica of the Queen Mary harp

The logo of this website shows a modern replica of one of the best preserved and best-known of the surviving historic Gaelic harps: the Queen Mary harp preserved in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The Queen Mary harp is over 500 years old, and is too fragile, rare and precious to string and play, so I commissioned Irish sculptor and harp maker Davy Patton to make me an exact replica in 2006. Davy took 10 months studying the original, collecting drawings and photographs, finding timber, and making the harp. Evey last detail of the design, layout, construction and decoration was copied in as much detail as possible with the data then available.

The replica was fitted with strings of metal wire, following historic Irish and Scottish practice: brass, silver and gold.

Since the replica was completed in 2007, a programme of intensive research on the original Queen Mary harp has been undertaken by Karen Loomis at the University of Edinburgh. As new information about the original becomes available, I am modifying the replica in line with these latest discoveries. I am documenting these improvements on my blog at clarsach.scot.

You can hear the replica on my CDs. You can read more details about the design and construction of the replica at my personal site and you can find out more about the medieval original here.

Simon Chadwick