The folk harper has a long tradition in Wales, the wood cut shown is displayed on a panel of the bed of Sir Rhys ap Thomas (1510) although the harp had been around for a lot longer than that. The bardic harp'telyn farddol' was worn slung over the shoulder and often played as such, supported with a strap. Sometimes known also as 'telyn benglin' the lap harp, both the same instrument to either accompany the dance or the story. It was also used on horse back with short legs to seat on to the saddle, presumably a mobile stage for the bard. All was well with the harpers until the early nineteenth century when the rise of methodism didn't sit well with some, so dancing, singing mirth and merriment took a back seat for quite sometime! Places such as the glorious Gwaun valley must have trembled for some time until the sound of strings rang free again.......
Senedd yr ymrysonnau-y ddeudu
Anian i gyd yno'n gwau,
Iaith enaid ar ei thannau.
Senate of discussions-both
sides sharing peaceful debates,
All temperaments weaving together,
The language of the soul from the strings
Sir Rhys ap Thomas (1510)
Dafydd ap Gwilym