Harp and Lyre

Harp

The harp is a multi-stringed instrument which has the plane of its strings positioned perpendicularly to the soundboard.

harp n 1: a chordophone that has a triangular frame consisting of a sounding board and a pillar and a curved neck; the strings stretched between the neck and the soundbox are plucked with the fingers 2: a pair of curved vertical supports for a lampshade 3: a small rectangular free-reed instrument having a row of free reeds set back in air holes and played by blowing into the desired hole [syn: {harmonica}, {mouth organ}, {mouth harp}] v 1: come back to; "Don't dwell on the past"; "She is always harping on the same old things" [syn: {dwell}] 2: play the harp; "She harped the Saint-Saens beautifully"

19 Moby Thesaurus words for "harp": French harp, Irish harp, aeolian harp, cithara, clarsach, dulcimer, harmonica, harmonicon, heptachord, hexachord, kazoo, langspiel, lyre, mouth bow, mouth harp, mouth organ, polychord, symphonia, zither

Harp \Harp\, v. t. To play on, as a harp; to play (a tune) on the harp; to develop or give expression to by skill and art; to sound forth as from a harp; to hit upon. [1913 Webster] Thou 'st harped my fear aright. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Harp \Harp\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Harped} (h[aum]rpt) p. pr. & vb. n. {Harping}.] [AS. hearpian. See {Harp}, n.] 1. To play on the harp. [1913 Webster] I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps. --Rev. xiv. 2. [1913 Webster] 2. To dwell on or recur to a subject tediously or monotonously in speaking or in writing; to refer to something repeatedly or continually; -- usually with on or upon. ``Harpings upon old themes.'' --W. Irving. [1913 Webster] Harping on what I am, Not what he knew I was. --Shak. [1913 Webster] {To harp on one string}, to dwell upon one subject with disagreeable or wearisome persistence. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

Harp \Harp\ (h[aum]rp), n. [OE. harpe, AS. hearpe; akin to D. harp, G. harfe, OHG. harpha, Dan. harpe, Icel. & Sw. harpa.] 1. A musical instrument consisting of a triangular frame furnished with strings and sometimes with pedals, held upright, and played with the fingers. [1913 Webster] 2. (Astron.) A constellation; Lyra, or the Lyre. [1913 Webster] 3. A grain sieve. [Scot.] [1913 Webster] {[AE]olian harp}. See under {[AE]olian}. [1913 Webster] {Harp seal} (Zo["o]l.), an arctic seal ({Phoca Gr[oe]nlandica}). The adult males have a light-colored body, with a harp-shaped mark of black on each side, and the face and throat black. Called also {saddler}, and {saddleback}. The immature ones are called {bluesides}; their fur is white, and they are killed and skinned to harvest the fur. {Harp shell} (Zo["o]l.), a beautiful marine gastropod shell of the genus {Harpa}, of several species, found in tropical seas. See {Harpa}. [1913 Webster]

Harp (Heb. kinnor), the national instrument of the Hebrews. It was invented by Jubal (Gen. 4:21). Some think the word _kinnor_ denotes the whole class of stringed instruments. It was used as an accompaniment to songs of cheerfulness as well as of praise to God (Gen. 31:27; 1 Sam. 16:23; 2 Chr. 20:28; Ps. 33:2; 137:2). In Solomon's time harps were made of almug-trees (1 Kings 10:11, 12). In 1 Chr. 15:21 mention is made of "harps on the Sheminith;" Revised Version, "harps set to the Sheminith;" better perhaps "harps of eight strings." The soothing effect of the music of the harp is referred to 1 Sam. 16:16, 23; 18:10; 19:9. The church in heaven is represented as celebrating the triumphs of the Redeemer "harping with their harps" (Rev. 14:2).

Lyre

The lyre (Greek: λύρα) is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later.

lyre n : a harp used by ancient Greeks for accompaniment

Lyre \Lyre\, n. [OE. lire, OF. lyre, L. lyra, Gr. ?. Cf. {Lyra}.] 1. (Mus.) A stringed instrument of music; a kind of harp much used by the ancients, as an accompaniment to poetry. [1913 Webster] Note: The lyre was the peculiar instrument of Apollo, the tutelary god of music and poetry. It gave name to the species of verse called lyric, to which it originally furnished an accompaniment. [1913 Webster] 2. (Astron.) One of the constellations; Lyra. See {Lyra}. [1913 Webster] {Lyre bat} (Zo["o]l.), a small bat ({Megaderma lyra}), inhabiting India and Ceylon. It is remarkable for the enormous size and curious shape of the nose membrane and ears. {Lyre turtle} (Zo["o]l.), the leatherback. [1913 Webster]

LYRE, n. An ancient instrument of torture. The word is now used in a figurative sense to denote the poetic faculty, as in the following fiery lines of our great poet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox: I sit astride Parnassus with my lyre, And pick with care the disobedient wire. That stupid shepherd lolling on his crook With deaf attention scarcely deigns to look. I bide my time, and it shall come at length, When, with a Titan's energy and strength, I'll grab a fistful of the strings, and O, The word shall suffer when I let them go! Farquharson Harris M

Data Sources:

  • harp: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • harp: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • harp: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • harp: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • harp: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • harp: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
  • lyre: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • lyre: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • lyre: THE DEVIL'S DICTIONARY ((C)1911 Released April 15 1993)

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