Kiirpa: The Musical Instrument
The Kiirpa was born from the strings of several historical instruments with the addition of some exciting and creative musical concepts from diverse traditions.
Salient features of the Kiirpa include:
- It is very easy for anyone to play, enjoy and appreciate
- The strings can easily be set to a large number of different tuning patterns proferring a plethora of melodic possibilities
- The Kiirpa has a central "Floating Bridge" that can easily be adjusted to create immensely intricate harmonic registers
- The combination of variable tunings, the double register and the simplicity of playing make the Kiirpa an incredibly versatile instrument for musical improvisation and composition, education and artistic inspiration
- Because every string of the Kiirpa is divided into two parts by the bridge, playing one of the strings' notes produces a sympathetic vibration in the other note of the string resulting in a very rich harmony of overtones
- Unmuted strings tuned to sympathetic frequencies also pick up the vibration and begin to contribute their harmonics as well. The effect is an enchanted and fascinating acoustic environment
- The beautiful harmonics of the strings then reverberate throughout the body of the Kiirpa, creating what we call "Double Resonance" - a very rich and enchanting acoustic vibration that blends the guitar with the harp, the lyre, lute, and sitar - all by different means and moments
- The Kiirpa player is free to determine which strings to mute and to what degree thereby creating a kaleidoscope of harmonic and melodic colors
- The instrument can be played with one or both hands. It can be played alone or by two people who, sitting or lying down, can play and improvise together, thus creating deep, intimate musical communication within the couple
- The name "Kiirpa" is the anglicized spelling of the Italian word "Chirpa"--derived by joining the words "Chitarra" (guitar) and "Arpa" (harp). Also, in the Punjabi language of northern India the word 'Kiirpa' means "The Grace of God".