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Lamhcrann

from Edward Bunting, The Ancient Music of Ireland (Dublin 1840), page 20: The parts of the harp.


Irish lámhchrann spoken by Gráinne Yeats
Scottish Gaelic làmh-chrann spoken by Tony Dilworth

Click the play button to hear it spoken. help


Denis O'Hampsey

Forepillar (lámhchrann) of Denis O'Hampsey's harp
adapted from Edward Bunting, Ancient Music of Ireland (1809)

components of a Gaelic harp

Components of a Gaelic harp disassembled; the lamhcrann is the lower part.


Lamhcrann - The front pillar

Lámhchrann is the ordinary Gaelic word for 'a handle' (a compound of lámh, 'a hand', and crann, 'a shaft, stock'). In Measgra Dánta I, p.104 (see no.7 above), O'Rahilly contradicts Bunting (and O'Curry, Manners and Customs III, p.256) by explaining the word as "the side of a harp which is next the performer, the side containing the soundboard". (see com). Ó Dónaill's (1977) dictionary gives lámhchrann cláirsí as "pillar of harp".

Colm Ó Baoill 2002


The lamhcrann of an early Irish harp was carved from a native hardwood, with the wood grain following the curve. Typically the lamhcrann is strengthened and ornamented by having a somewhat T-shaped cross section; on older instruments this is made to be in the form of a two-headed fish. The lamhcrann has a tenon at the bottom which fits into the base of the com (soundbox). On a low-headed harp the lamhcrann has a tenon which fits into a mortice on the on the bass end of the corr; on a high-headed harp, the corr has a tenon which fits into a mortice on the back of the lamhcrann. Note that the tuning pins usually pierce through the tenon to lock the joint togther.

Simon Chadwick 2008