About the Kugo


The Kugo (Angular harp). With an L-shaped body, it arose in Mesopotamia around 1900 B.C.  It soon spread to other regions of the Near East, eventually becoming a favorite instrument in local Islamic cultures where it survived until 1700 A.D.  Meanwhile, it entered the Silk Road and reached China around 500 CE.  Korea and Japan came next, but it disappeared from the Far East by 1100.  Egypt adopted it 1400 B.C.  Wherever it went, artists, poets, and musicians loved its beautiful shape and admired its complex sound.  But angular harps hardly penetrated into Europe, which instead launched its own harp –the Frame harp– although at a very late date, 800 A.D.  Slowly Frame harps took over the world.                        Bo Lawergren

Further information is published in the journal Early Music America.  A link to the article “ The Rebirth of the Angular Harp”