Re: texts on harp orchestration for composers.

Participant
Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #87931

I have started on such a project, but it will be a long time in finishing it. I haven’t seen anything I would really recommend. I think composers should start with Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy and perhaps Puccini; and make sure of what they know will work, and start from there. Most orchestration books give bad examples it seems, like in Walter Piston’s, every example is an exception, like Stravinsky’s Orpheus, and not a good example of writing for the harp. But even in Tchaikovsky and Debussy there are errors of judgement. I think Rimsky did the best overall, and has many pages of wonderful writing. Ravel, also, took some chances and made some errors, as well as Strauss, so I think composers should be guided carefully through those scores. I think they should be required to take a full-semester course in writing for the harp only, as it would seem to require at least that much study. I might suggest they try writing parts for existing works such as Rite of Spring, which should have had harp and certainly could. There’s nothing like walking in another composer’s shoes.