This thesis is essentially an organological study and focuses on primary research done on the Cebuano-Bisayan folk harp of the Central Visayas. It has an introductory history of Hispanic diatonic harp in the Philippines beginning with its transference via the galleon trade from Mexico. Supplemented with numerous photographs, organological comparisons are made between the Cebuano-Bisayan harp and another Filipino genre, the Ilocano harp. Included in the comparison are references to selected Latin American harps from secondary sources. There are examples of zoomorphic ornamentation, including the horse head or "kabayo" icon seen on some Bisayan harps. Statistics for comparisons between the two Filipino harp genres are based on the measurements and material content of sixty-seven examined during field research. Tables and graphs are used in conjunction with the text analysis. Also described is the construction process of one harp made for the author on the island of Bohol.
A theory of diachronic, contrasting status and apparent gender segmentation surrounding the Filipino harp is presented. The Filipino harp is seen both as a positive anachronistic symbol of colonial illustriousness played by females, and, to a much lesser degree, a pejorative instrument of the rural itinerant played mainly by males.