avant garde technic – intro book available?

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    dear harpists

    lately I am interested in other sounds then the usual sound of my strings.. in avant garde music or contemporary music I see interesting technics and hear sounds of the harp.. now I am wondering if there is something explained

    Misty Harrison

    You can look at Salzedo’s Modern Study and at a book by Inglefield and Neil. They are both on


    There are some, as used by Bernard Andres, here:


    That’s a good point, I know of none, but there are harpists who have specialized in new music, such as Elizabeth Panzer, Alyssa Reit, whom you could consult. If you could find a piece called Fragmentations by Sylvano Bussotti, it would be interesting. I used to have it. It is all graphic notation, and no music at all.


    thank you all for your information I apprecitate it ! great links.. I will check them all out…


    There is a book of harp solo pieces described as “for young musicians” that seems appropriate for advanced beginners or for someone wanting to use a variety of contemporary harp effects.

    It is Haiku for the Harp by Susann McDonald and Linda Wood, c.1986, published by Music Works and available from Lyon and Healy at for $15.00 (price I paid for it a year or so ago).

    Some of the effects used in the solo pieces:


    Very advanced; may be observed on YouTube and other web sites: Alice Giles performing “The Crown of Ariadne.”


    It’s Judy who performs it on YouTube. Personally, I can’t stand the piece, however well she does it.


    the weird thing is that I do not like all the a- tonal not melodic modern pieces particularly.. I improvise and compose my own music.. and to me it is interesting to combine elements of avant garde technics.. I mean the odd and ugly sounds .. with more minimal elements but melodic elements .. beautiful sounds… a fusion more or less..



    If you don’t like atonal music, try some of Bernard Andrés’ music. He uses special effects in interesting ways while remaining tonal and melodic. His use of effects feel more naturally incorporated into the music as part of the music than an effect stuck there for the sake of using it. His more advanced music includes more of the effects found in the Andrés Notation Guide and you might like them. There’s a CD of his music that would give you a good idea of the music before you buy the sheet music if you aren’t sure.


    A simple piece, but one that has quite a few different sounds is Kymation by Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher.

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