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Topic: Question on Harp Chords

  1. #1

    Question on Harp Chords


    I've just about finished the intro (approx 128 bars) to a Celtic piece and I was wondering about harp chords - may as well get this right at the start. The instrument list so far is:

    Chromatic Harp - I'll add Gliss Harp later now that at last I've got the harp packets working ok!
    2 solo violins, doubled +8 in places (the sv's that come with GPO)
    Tremelo Strings
    1st violins
    Violas section
    Cello section
    Pizz Bass
    Synthesizer - yes a synth!, sounds good doubling the tremelo strings

    At the moment the harp is split over two tracks - the chords and the melody. I'm rolling the harp chords over six notes 3rd-5th-root-3rd-5th-root (I read somewhere that Harpists have 6 fingers). So you can hear them ok. Originally I was just rolling the three notes of a normal triad - still sounded ok if a bit thin, but I could alway "pump up de volume". My question is, left to his/her own choice, how many notes would a harpist roll on a normal chord?

    I've bought Cakewalks Dimension Pro synth (hasn't arrived yet) and I see that it comes bundled with Garritan Pocket Orchestra. Are the strings in the "pocket orch" more produced or are they the same?

    Cheers, ColinD

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leaf's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Dallas, TX

    Re: Question on Harp Chords

    Gary Garritan is a Harp Player, so maybe he will see this to answer, but there is some harp tutorials on this site which probably address that.



    I think they have three fingers and a thumb on each hand, they remove their pinky fingers and place them in a little box so they don't get in the way.

  3. #3

    Lightbulb Re: Question on Harp Chords

    Quote Originally Posted by Maestro-D

    My question is, left to his/her own choice, how many notes would a harpist roll on a normal chord?
    Cheers, ColinD
    3-4 notes per hand. If you want to alternate hands (e.g., LH 1-3-5 then RH 1-3-5, then LH again...), you can cover the entire compass of the instrument (assuming you leave the harpist enough time to position one hand while the other is playing). If you're going to have a lot of hand movement, it would help to have the same pattern repeated. E.g., you could play (LH) C1-E1-G1 (RH) C2-E2-G2 (LH) C3-E3-G3 (RH)... in eighth note triplets more easily than (LH) C1-E1-G1-C2 (RH) E2-G2-C3-E3 (LH) G3-C4-E4-G4...

    If you want the arpeggios doubled (e.g., both hands playing in octaves), you'd probably only play C-E-G-C in each hand (in the desired octave). Given a beat or three of rests, the harpist could reposition his/her hands for the next octave.
    Grant Green ||| www.contrabass.com
    Sarrusophones and other seismic devices

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