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Harp Family HistoryRecorded as Arp, Arpin, Arpe, Arpur, (German), Earp, Earpe, Harp, Harper, Harpur, Harpin (all English), Harpe, Harper, Harpillard, (French), Arpino (Italian), and others, this ancient surname is usually occupational. It derives from the pre 7th century words harp, hearp, or harfe, meaning the musical instrument, the harp. In medieval times, the harper was one of the most important figures at baronial halls, festivals and fairs, and the Brehon laws of Scotland and Ireland ranked the playing of the harp as "the one art of music which deserves nobility".
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