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How to build authentic and fruitful relationships with composers

—by Rosanna Moore

Picture the scene: an eager composer comes up to you with their new masterpiece for harp. Despite this being the composer’s first foray into writing for the instrument, they poured their heart and soul into it. However, when you look through the part, you find sections that are awkward, notes that have you using your pinky, double sharps and flats everywhere, and passages that are downright unplayable. What on earth is a harpist to do? How do you address potential issues with a composer who has written something that may not be particularly idiomatic? It starts with the harpist-composer relationship—a healthy give and take being the key to fostering a fruitful collaboration. 

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