By Charlotte Nediger
Portrait of Steffani by Gerhard Kappers, c.1714
By Julia Seager-Scott, harp
Julia Seager-Scott, harp
The baroque triple harp was one answer to accommodate the expanding musical language that was emerging at the turn of the seventeenth century. Finding a way to make the harp a continuo instrument, capable of playing a figured bass line with accompanying chords in any key, was the main driver behind the drastic changes seen in the harps of this time.
“‘Oh the recorders, let me see one.” Hamlet, Act 3 sc. 2
A member of the flute family with relatives in other cultures around the world, the recorder is known to have been in use in Italy by the fourteenth century. The earliest recorders were made from a single piece of wood and came in two sizes. By 1619, the composer and music theorist Michael Praetorius listed eight different sizes, from a small sopranino to a great bass.