The bray harp is a type of harp that was popular throughout Europe from the late 14th century through the 17th century. It was also used in 18th century attempts to create "historical" music. This type of harp is characterized by the small pegs, called brays, that are used to attach the strings to the harp's soundbox. The brays are bent in manner that makes them touch the strings lightly, which creates a distinctive buzzing tone when a string is plucked.

For an excellent example of music played on a bray harp, listen to Two Worlds of the Welsh Harp, played by William Taylor (Dorian Recordings, 1999). That recording includes pieces from the Robert ap Huw manuscript, which consists of examples of medieval harp music written down in 1613. What's remarkable about these pieces, other than the sound of the bray harp itself, is the rather insistent minimalism of the music. With short phrases that are repeated until they're hammered into your brain, they might fit nicely on a record by Ruins or Don Caballero.

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