Meld your playing seamlessly into a section of harps with tips and advice from our experts
Playing in an orchestra tends to be a solitary experience for harpists. Most orchestral pieces call for just one harp, and the lone harpist sits on an island tucked in between the strings and the percussion. The harp doesn’t really fit into a family of instruments. Sure the string and percussion families will claim loose family ties with the harp, but in reality, the harp is an instrument without a family and without a section with which to play.
Most of the orchestral experience harpists get is as the lone harpist in the ensemble; playing in a section of harpists in an orchestra is a rarity. Harpists spend most of their time alone in practice studios, drilling scales, arpeggios, etudes, and solos, being released for the occasional solo part in orchestra.