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Post Card. Note the Irish harp. Though found as early as 1100 AD in Ireland, beginning in the early 1500s, the harp in Ireland began to decline. The Crown's treatment of harpers ranged from persistent harassment to imprisonment and execution. Much of the action taken against bards in Ireland was not motivated out of a dislike of the harp, or of Irish music, but because the fear that rebellious songs were stir up passions and incite war.