The Paraguayan Harp

The Paraguayan harp is the national instrument of the only Latin American country where over 90 per cent of the population is bilingual - speaking Spanish and Guaraní, Paraguay's two official languages. The Paraguayan harp is a modified version of the classical harp which was first introduced to the area by Jesuit missionaries in the 16th century. The instrument captured the imagination of the indigenous people, who adopted it as their own. Similar in look to its European counterpart, the five-octave, diatonic Paraguayan harp has 36 strings but no foot pedals. Made out of cedar or pine wood, it is much lighter and its resonator longer at the base than other harps. The warm sounds produced are highly coloured and easily recognizable. In the 1940s and 1950s, harpist and composer Félix Pérez Cardozo helped the Paraguayan harp achieve international recognition with such songs as Pájaro campana and El tren lechero - all three are included on this album.

Eralio Gill

CD's Available:

Oliver Sudden Productions K10-12CD
The Art of the Paraguayan Harp
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