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Topic: Pedal tones for harp and piano?

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  1. #1

    legato for harp and piano?

    For some reason I can't seem to make these percussive instruments "legato" from using the pedal. Especially arpeggiated. I've played piano some of my life and remember that pressing the pedal gives a more "legato" sound. How do you do it?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Re: Pedal tones for harp and piano?

    Harp is not like piano. Harp doesn't have a sustain pedal. The natural state of the strings is to ring out to full decay. Their pedal function - 7 of them! - is not for sustain, but for shifting strings by semitones so that various scales and arpeggios can be configured. With the harp and some of the pitched percussion the sustain pedal down (cc#64 - value 127) allows you to switch to "hand damped."

    Tom

  3. #3

    Re: legato for harp and piano?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Hopkins
    Harp is not like piano. Harp doesn't have a sustain pedal. The natural state of the strings is to ring out to full decay. Their pedal function - 7 of them! - is not for sustain, but for shifting strings by semitones so that various scales and arpeggios can be configured. With the harp and some of the pitched percussion the sustain pedal down (cc#64 - value 127) allows you to switch to "hand damped."

    Tom



    Hmmmm all greek to me. I don't have a midi keyboard. Would the legato function work through overture? It seems to work ok at the moment. I should have asked about legato for harp and piano.

  4. #4

    Re: Pedal tones for harp and piano?

    Let me try again: Legato does not apply to harp. The sustain pedal is *not* designed to work in a similar fashion to piano no matter which host software you are using (sequencer, notation.) That's not how it works. The best thing I can recommend is that you read more on how a real concert harp functions. Here is a link to Terry Dwyer's harp tutorial: http://www.garritan.com/tutorial/GPO_HarpTutorial.html

    That should help your understanding of the instrument. In GPO the sustain pedal has the following function for harp:

    Sustain pedal up = harp strings ring in their full natural decay.
    Sustain pedal down = switches to "hand damped" strings (decay quickly, as when a player places his/her hands on the strings to damp the ringing.)

    The GPO harps use the same pedal mode (mode 2 in the Options menu) as most instruments in the library (winds, strings, and most percussion). It's a switching function not a sustain function.

    As mentioned in Terry’s tutorial, the "Glissando" harp is a special case that allows the use of the midi packet library to map just the white keys of the keyboard for an effect similar (but not identical) to the behavior of the 7 pedals of the harp for switching scale and chord type. The packets actually extend the possibilities somewhat beyond reality but chords and scales can be played in real time with an excellent illusion of the real thing. However, this is an advanced concept that you may wish to save until you better understand the functions of the "Chromatic" harp patch.

    By the way, the piano is one of those exceptions that requires pedal mode 1 - standard sustain - to work properly. Hope this helps clarify things a bit more.

    Tom

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