Novel Industry. Australia – Land of the Harp.

Dublin Core


Novel Industry. Australia – Land of the Harp.


Agincourt, cello, Crecy, export, gut, Hampton Court, harp, Henry VIII, lute, medieval craft, medieval production, music strings, musical instrument, sheep, tennis racquet, violin


In this Western Mail article about Britain’s export of five million yards of musical instrument strings each year, Australia is identified as the top destination for harp strings. In contrast, the article singles out South Africa as preferring fretted instruments and New Zealand the cello. The article goes on to explain that while modern strings could be made from gut, silk, steel or metal wire, the making of strings was a craftsman’s job dating from the gut strings of medieval instruments, weaponry and recreational equipment: ‘As far as gut goes, the British tradition runs back to the medieval lute, the bows used at Crecy and Agincourt, and the racquet with which Henry VIII played “real” tennis at Hampton Court’. Following a definition of “gut” as the strong membranes from the insides of sheep and a comment on the skill of British craftsmen in making strings for unusual as well as standard musical instruments, the focus returns to the harp at the end of the article. It suggests that making harp strings was a particularly difficult job because a harp has six octaves, and each string has to be chosen separately.




National Library of Australia


The Western Mail


11 September 1941


The Western Mail


Newspaper Article



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