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The Claviharp (also called the Clavier-Harp, Claviharpe or Keyed harp) is a very very rare instrument that is not mentioned in most documentation. It was played at some point on time by Juan Hidalgo, the famous Spanish harpist and composer of the 17th century. The earliest date that this instrument is mentioned is in 1609 in a list of harp repair expenses that ended in the late 1660s. Many references seem to indicate a gut-strung keyboard instrument, similar to other instruments known at the time in Germany and Italy. This appears to have been an instrument used for particular types of occasions, especially the Holy Week services, when a particular sound was desired to express certain emotions or musical ideas.
Published: 7 January 2005