Harps of Gold

Christmas started for us as a family today with the annual 'Harps of Gold' carol concert in Edinburgh's Queen's Hall. The title comes from the English carol 'It Came Upon the Midnight Clear', which starts:

'It came upon the midnight clear
That glorious song of old,
Of angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold.'

The harps are the small Celtic harp, or 'clarsach', although we did have one pedal, or concert harp today. Together they make up 'Na Clarsairean' (Gaelic for 'the Harpers'). My daughter plays in this, together with fellow harpers right across the age range. The clarsach has a long history in Scotland - it's Scotland's oldest instrument. Carvings of it have been found on Pictish stones dating back to the 8th century.

(Apologies for the photo quality - I've deliberately made this less sharp because there are young people other than my immediate family involved)


  1. What a golden orchestra! Could they have really been regognized from this distance? Besides I think it´s perfectly okay to show concert and gig-photos.

  2. These things are very tightly controlled in the UK. There was a big fuss a couple of years ago about parents video-ing nativity plays, so I'm being cautious!

  3. What a beautiful concert, wish we could have been there.

  4. The sound must have been wonderful, I have only heard one harp at a time, so I can't even imagine how it must be with a full orchestra.

    I had no idea it is the oldest instrument in Scotland. Normally we only hear about the bagpipe. :)


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