Harry Wass

Moraharpa {medieval keyed fiddle}

 

Pelverata, Tasmania, Australia.  medieval.instruments@gmail.com 

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Left:  Bass Moraharpa.  Centre and right:  Moraharpa.  Designed and built by Harry Wass in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

The moraharpa is thought to have originated in Sweden,where the oldest evidence for the instrument has been found in the form of two relief carvings (on left)at Källunge church dating  from c1350.

The moraharpa is the ancestor of the modern Nyckelharpa {keyed fiddle} that is a popular folk instrument in Sweden today.

I make both Moraharpas and Bass Moraharpas based on medieval artworks and on instruments surviving from the 1500's, in addition to including some features found on the modern Nyckleharpa. The Bass moraharpa is made of Tasmanian timbers with a king billy pine (Athrotaxis Selaginoides) belly and the sides and back are blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon).  The instrument has 15 strings: 2 melody strings D & C that cover 2 octaves, 1 drone string A,  and 12 sympathetic strings that vibrate in harmony with the playing strings.  The Bass Moraharpa shown on this page is one of the instruments used by myself in the medieval band Harlequin and the Moraharpa is used by members of the great medieval band Wayward.              

Harry Wass Moraharpas from $3500. 

Bass Moraharpas from $5000.

        

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Källunge Church carving c1350

Harry Wass Bass and standard size  Moraharpa

 

Moraharpa surviving from c1526 

 

Moraharpa bows from $250