Originally Posted by larryace
Right, the piano pedals have different functions than a harps pedals (thanks Ben).
I just recall looking at the inside of a grand piano and saying to myself..."There's a harp in there..."
Amy's harp and what's inside a grand piano.... basically the same shape, yes?
So, what came first, the harp or the piano?
The harp and the piano share the same basic shape and principle. Technically, the piano is a percussion instrument whereas the harp is a string instrument.
The 'basic' harp is a far, far older instrument than the piano. The modern piano was only really formalised about a hundred and twenty years ago although older examples like the fortepiano go back a couple of hundred years before that. The harpsichord goes back a couple of hundred years earlier still but they share a totally different action. Harpsichords are plucked, pianos are struck.
As for when the concert harp as it is now was formalised, I have no idea. I suspect it's not massively older than the piano; although chromatic harps are probably older and the harp family is much older. It's probably not incorrect to say that to some degree the piano is a descendant of earlier harps.