2.5 Original Welsh Musical Instruments

Ancient Welsh instruments are only the harp, the crwth and the pibcorn.

The harp consisted for a long time of just a row of strings, originally made of horse's hair. It only developed later to a double harp with 2 rows of strings that made the playing of sharps and flats easier. Since the 14th century a triple harp has been used and is mainly used these days. This has a range of 5 octaves. The most recent improvement was the in­vention of the pedals to produce half tones.

The crwth is little used these days. It was of a similar construction to the lyre, had 6 strings and was played with a bow.[1]

The pibcorn or hornpipe had ends made out of horn and was 19 inches long. It had holes for the fingers and one hole at the back for the thumb. The tone was similar to that of an oboe.


[1] cf. Bingley, W., p. 331

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