Arpa Paraguay

Name: Arpa Paraguay.
Type: Chordophones > Composites > Harps > Arpa.
Hornbostel Sachs No#: 322.211
Scale: Diatonic.
Country: Paraguay.
Region: South America.

Description: Folk harp of Paraguay. It derives from harps introduced by European Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century. Although the primary function of the arpa paraguaya is harmonic and rhythmic, short melodic passages in parallel 3rds or 6ths may interact with vocal lines by imitation or juxtaposition. When featured as a solo instrument, the harp may be accompanied by one or two guitars.

The parts of the instrument include the cabeza [head] or consola [console] where the clavijas [tuning pegs] are placed; the tapa armónica [sound table] attached to the caja or caja armónica [soundbox]; and the columna [column], mango [handle], or brazo [arm].

The brazo can be ornamented with elaborate carvings such as leaves, flowers, or the silhouette of a Guaraní woman. Glued lengthwise down the centre of the tapa is a long thin piece of cedar called the escala [scale], which serves to anchor the lower end of the strings;

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