dital harp

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dital harp. Obsolete instr. invented in 1798 by Edward Light, a teacher of guitar: it was at first called harp guitar. By ‘dital’ is meant a finger-key (actually played by the thumb): each dital raised the pitch of a string by a semitone. Another name was harp lute, the appearance of the instr. suggesting the body of a lute continued upwards by that of a small harp.

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