Harp 'quickly mute' indication

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Yinyue
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Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by Yinyue » 23 Oct 2019, 21:15

Hi forum,

What's the standard notation to indicate for the harp to:

- not arpeggiate chord
- mute notes after duration of note

I'm pretty sure my screenshot is not the best idea.

Thanks
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David Ward
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Re: Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by David Ward » 23 Oct 2019, 21:39

A vertical square bracket such as [ elongated as necessary to encompass the chord indicates not to play arpeggios. (You could then add sempre sim.) The direction ‘sons étouffée’ indicates damping immediately to produce a dry staccato. Otherwise ‘étouffe’ or the English equivalent ‘damp’ immediately after the chord first time round followed by sempre sim. ought to get what you want. Or ‘always damp.’ If the context suggests the chords should not be allowed to resonate longer than written, it may not be necessary to add anything.

In contemporary music harpists are likely NOT to arpeggiate unless it is indicated that they should.
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Schonbergian
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Re: Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by Schonbergian » 24 Oct 2019, 02:37

I've seen the vertical bracket in piano music for large chords, which is often impossible to follow on precisely those chords because of hand size. I wonder if the same issue might crop up in harp music.

Could John or another keyboardist/harpist with more experience chime in on why this symbol is sometimes used in situations where it may be physically impossible?

Callasmaniac
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Re: Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by Callasmaniac » 24 Oct 2019, 08:02

I'd put a tenuto dash on the chord and damp marking (either word or symbol [looks like coda-marking]) on the downbeat.

OCTO
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Re: Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by OCTO » 24 Oct 2019, 11:49

As above said, the bracket [ for the chord; and than ⊕ (or ⨁) perhaps with longer dashes to stop the chord.
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Yinyue
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Re: Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by Yinyue » 24 Oct 2019, 15:20

Perfect, thanks for the input everyone.

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David Ward
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Re: Harp 'quickly mute' indication

Post by David Ward » 24 Oct 2019, 15:21

I've just spoken to a harp player. She said that in an example such as the one given the player would normally damp at the rests anyway, unless there was insufficient time to do so, in which case there would be no point asking for it.

Gould has various things to say about this on pages 364 & 365 including recommending use of the ⊕ sign (as suggested above by OCTO).

I've found precise note values followed by appropriate rests have usually achieved what I've wanted from harpists without further discussion.
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