The harp is one of the oldest instruments played by man, beginning with the crude ancient lyre right up to the impressive Baroque instruments implemented to this day.
Beyond the gorgeous music these instruments produce, the harp has taken on various symbols and meanings over the years, even going on to represent entire nations such as Ireland, beginning with the famous “High King” Brian Boru.
Traditional Gaelic societies bestowed the gift of the harp upon honored clan members and chieftains, each taking an oath to write and perform eulogies and epic ballads for their fellow men.
The harp is notoriously difficult to master, but the dulcet beauty of the music produced is undeniable and well worth the effort. Similarly, a harp tattoo can represent the necessary skill and dedication it takes to pluck beauty from a seemingly impossible source. While many proudly wear the harp tattoo in allegiance to their Irish heritage and homeland, others view the harp as a poetic metaphor.
While there are many cultural variations of the harp to choose from when selecting a tattoo design, the most popular style is still the classic harp instrument seen and celebrated today. Worn prominently or on a subtle part of the body, the harp is one of the oldest and most time-honored symbols of national pride, as well as a beauty as delicate as it is complex.