Any tips/exercises to help play four finger chords evenly please?
I don’t know what level harp player you are. But the real solution to even and independent finger movement, for anything you want to play is etudes. Work through a set of etudes with a teacher and all of your technical problems will disappear. You might look at my Bochsa Revisited, which is a reinterpretation of his 40 Easy Etudes, op. 318. They are wonderful etudes and fun to play. My edition gives both hands an equal workout.
Sarah- If you go to my web site, http://www.swansonharp.com then click on the ‘store’, then click on the Bochsa Revisited, you can see a sampling of the etudes and etude variations that are in the book. What you will see are two things. 1) A rich and extensive variety of patterns, which is what you are looking for in a set of etudes, and 2) that both hands get a technical workout on all of the patterns involved. The etudes are short, only 2 pages long. They work on the pattern for that etude in a variety of ways, to help you build muscle memory for that pattern. I don’t know if you play pedal or lever harp, but there is a separate edition for each. If you work your way through the 20 etudes in that book, I guarantee you will build a solid and even technique for that level of playing.
Sarah: Grossi and Bochsa revisited are different. Grossi is more a method with instruction and exercises. Lots of repetition; little musical interest. The Pozzoli etudes that are usually published with it in the back are more musically interesting. The two work with each other in parallel. About halfway through the Grossi section, there is a note to start working in the Pozzoli section in parallel. Some of the Pozzoli etudes (studies) are interesting and rewarding; others less so, and more like exercises.
Bochsa Revisited (or any other of the Bochsa sets of etudes) are _much_ more interesting to play, while still concentrating on one technical aspect. They are also more advanced than anything in Grossi/Pozzoli.
So it depends on what level you are playing. I look forward to being able to really dive in to the Bochsa, but I’m not quite there yet. Carl’s edition of the Bochsa is _much_ better than the original. (And I’m hoping he has enough interest in the first half to warrant finishing and publishing the second volume!)
Let me think about that some. It was SO MUCH WORK doing those two volumes (one for pedal harp, the other for lever harp). I’m finishing up my second edition for Carl Fischer Music for this year (the first one, Two Masterpieces for solo harp by Gabriel Fauré, which came out in June), and I’m kind of exhausted at the moment, and still not done with the second one, which I’m hoping will be released by the end of this year. It’s a collection of 10 pieces by Marcel Tournier(You heard it here FIRST!!).
Gretchen and Veronika,
First, this volume is not for lever harp. But it has crossed my mind to try to find some Tournier that is playable on lever harp. I already found one, and it’s a pretty major piece that is completely playable on lever harp with no changes!
I adore Tournier’s music. But the big problem for many harpists is that it is not notated the way it is actually played. He uses enharmonic spellings a lot. A# for B♭. Things like that, and he uses it a lot. Often it is not clear which hand plays what. The result is that there is a lot of initial layout work when a harpist wants to learn one of his pieces. So this collection prints the pieces EXACTLY the way they are played. There should be virtually no marking up, figuring out at all in order to play them.
The 10 pieces I chose for this represent a variety of textures, a variety of levels of difficulty, and a variety of moods. I think you will really love all of them. I’m waiting right now for the second proofs. I’m hoping that it may be released sometime in November or December.
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