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Topic: Advice on functional Harp mechanics

  1. #1

    Advice on functional Harp mechanics

    I\'m working for a writer doing some mockups of his work and he\'s complaining that I\'m not using the appropriate harp notes. He says when he writes for example \"C\" in the score, he would get what amounts to a C6/9 played by a real harpist. However if he writes C Scale, then in fact he wants a C Scale. I\"m quite frustrated because I can\'t figure out which Harp Packet to use for just a straight gliss. Any suggestions? (one suggestion is you could tell me that this guy is nuts and I was right all along so i wouldn\'t feel so stupid!!)


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Re: Advice on functional Harp mechanics

    J. Whaley

    The strings of the harp are tuned diatonic like the white notes of a piano. There are seven foot pedals which raise and lower the particular notes by a half step. For example, the \"F\" pedal will either raise all the F\'s to an F# if pedaled in the down position, or to E in the up position.

    It is not possible to make a C chord with an orchestral harp unless you retune certain strings. Your friend is correct when he says when he writes for example \"C\" in the score, he would get what amounts to a C6/9 played by a real harpist. The Cs would remain in the natural position, the D (or the 2nd/9th must remain), the E remains, the F goes down a half step to an E, the G remains neutral, the A remains, and the B goes up a half step to a C. A lot depends on the key signature the piece is in and the chord you are trying to play.

    Sometimes a harpist would tune certain strings for an alternate tuning to acheive different glissandi. Figuring out ways to pedal glissandi can keep a harpist busy with fancy footwork.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Advice on functional Harp mechanics

    Thanks Gary. That\'s kind of what I already knew in so much as I understand the principle behind it. What I don\'t know is which harp packet I should use if he says in the score \"G\" or \"F\" or \"Ab\". If I use the major scale version it doesn\'t give the notes we need. But there\'s not one for just the plain ol\' \"G\". Any advice along that line?

    BTW - this client has gone on and on about how good these tracks sound - that\'s the fault of GPO [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] The real gem here is the way the programming is laid out because it allows such easy performance!


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