- Guide to the Contemporary Harp
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Guide to the Contemporary Harp
Published by: Indiana University Press
Harps and harp music have enjoyed a renaissance over the past century and today can be heard in a broad array of musical contexts. Guide to the Contemporary Harp is a comprehensive resource that examines the vibrant present-day landscape of the harp. The authors explore the instrument from all angles, beginning with organology; moving through composition, notation, and playing techniques; and concluding with the contemporary repertoire for the harp. The rapid diversification in these areas of harp performance is the result of both technological innovations in harp making, which have produced the electric harp and MIDI harp, and innovative composers and players. These new instruments and techniques have broadened the concept of what is possible and what constitutes harp music for today. Guide to the Contemporary Harp is an essential guide for any harpist looking to push the instrument and its music to new heights.
I. Historical Reminders
II. The Pedal Harp
The Parts of the Harp
The Pedals and the Modulation Mechanism
"Using the Pedals"
Playing the Harp
III. The Lever Harp
Levers and the Modulation Mechanism
Playing the Lever Harp
IV. Electric Harps
The Electroacoustic Harp
The Electric Harp
The Electric-Acoustic Harp
V. Some 21st Century Creations
The MIDI Harp
The Automatic Harp
2. Writing and Language
Introduction of the Aleatory Element (Indeterminacy)
Combination of Several Notations
Superposition of Different Tempi
Writing on Several Staves
Writing with Another System than the Five-Line Stave
II. Dramatized Writings
Micro-Choreography, Theatrical Gestures
Dramaturgic Use of the Voice
Use of the Sung Voice, with No Theatrical Indication
Use of the Spoken and/or the Sung Voice with No Text
III. Mixed Forms of Music
Some Works for Harp and Extensions
3. Playing Techniques
"Près de la table" (Near the Soundboard)
"Bas dans les cordes" (Low in the Strings)
"Près des chevilles" (Near the Tuning Pins)
Sound Using the Fingernail
Portando From One Pitch to Another
Tone-Color Melody (Klangfarbenmelodie)
II. Glissandi, Chords and Clusters
Flat, Broken, Arpeggiated/Rolled Chords
Cluster Glissando with Thunder Effect
Various Forms of Rubbing
III. Resonances, muffles and silences
IV. Hits on the harp
Different Types of Hits
Which Part of the Harp to Hit?
Composers Who Have Elaborated a Detailed Notation for Hits
V. Wire strings
Whistling Sound (with the Palm of the Hand)
Wired Sound (Grabbing a Wire String with the fingers)
Scrape with a Nail or a Plectrum
Sustained Thunder Effect
VI. Pedals and Levers
Rhythmic Effect with Pedals
Pedal Movement Ad Libitum with Sound Effect
Resonant Pedal Sound
VII. Using Objects
Use of Percussion Instruments by the Harpist
Inserting Materials Between the Strings (Foam, Paper, Cardboard, Textile, Rubber, Elastic Band, etc.)
List of Notations
The History of Music in the 20th and 21st Centuries
Musical Instruments, The Orchestra
Repertoire of Works for Harp
Harp and Extensions
Lever Harp and Extensions
Duets and Harp Ensembles
Quartets and More
Ensembles and Extensions
Index of Composers Quoted
Index of Playing Techniques
Mathilde Aubat-Andrieu is a harpist and cofounder of the association Les Signes de l'arc (The Signs of the Arch). She was awarded a gold medal and first prize in proficiency at the Music Conservatory in Troyes (France) and gives regular performances at reading-concerts, with chamber music ensembles and orchestra.
Laurence Bancaud is a harpist and cofounder of the association Les Signes de l'arc. She was awarded first prize at the CNSMD (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse) and has a master's degree in musicology and specializes in contemporary music. She is author of Tôn-Thât Tiêt: Dialogue Avec la Nature.
Aurélie Barbé is a harpist, composer, and cofounder of the association Les Signes de l'arc. She was awarded a gold medal at the Music Conservatory in Caen (France) and a higher studies diploma in musicology. She is a teacher and performer, specializing in modal, minimalist and improvised music for both classical and electric harp.
Hélène Breschand is a harpist, composer, and cofounder of the association Les Signes de l'arc. She was awarded a gold medal and first prize in proficiency at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Regional in Paris. She pursues her career as a soloist in the contemporary repertoire and in new creations, improvisation, and musical theatre.
Lilian Rossi has pursued an academic career and is the author of Doctors and Nurses. Jean Rossi is an administrative officer. Working as a team, they have translated numerous academic and literary works from French and German.