EXHIBITS > The musical instruments of ancient Greeks >
The ''triangle'' (harp)
It was of the most ancient multi-stringed instrument with unequal in length strings. Its sound was sweet and ethereal.
It consisted of a wooden soundbox, an arm and a side supporting pillar shaping a triangle, as that of the eminent harpist of Leros (Cycladic figurine of the 2800 B.C.). Its soundbox, in the Classical years, was usually spindle-shaped (widest in the middle, tapering to the ends) and had a stretched palpitating membrane while its arm brought the pegs for the tuning of the strings. The strings began along the leather surface of the soundbox and ended (parallel or converging slightly) at the arm.
The seated player (almost always a woman who was called "psaltriai") held the harp with the arm of the instrument horizontally above her left thigh and the soundbox standing next to her body. With the fingers of both hands, she plucked the strings that varied from nine to twenty-two.
SOURCES: "M.L. West, Ancient Greek Music", "Curt Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments", "Julius Pollux, Onomasticon", "Apollodorus, The Library", "Aristotle, (Musical) Problems", "Plutarch, On Music", "Ptolemy, Harmonics", "Nicomachus, Manual of Harmonics", "Aristoxenus of Tarentum, Harmonic Elements".