Mildred Dilling on youtube

  • Participant
    barbara-brundage on #152005

    On a pedal harp you would have to kneel down or something to rest your left arm on the board, Maria.

    With the right arm, you’re not actually pressing the arm on the soundboard, it just touches it. In any method your arm needs to support the hand in order for you to have the fullest range of motion for your fingers and for moving up and down the range of strings. If it doesn’t, the weight of your arm pulls your fingers away from where you want them to be and you’re working against yourself.

    If you actually press on the edge of the soundboard as I’ve seen beginners and self-taught harpists do sometimes, you’re asking for trouble eventually from compressing the carpal and/or ulnar tunnels.

    If your left arm is touching the soundboard on a pedal harp that’s the right size for you (there may be exceptions with tiny people playing very big harps, for example), you generally aren’t giving the hand the support it needs, and you almost certainly aren’t playing in the optimum area of the strings (unless you’re doing a special effect or something.)

    Participant
    barbara-brundage on #152006

    >Is this more common than just occasionally touching it?

    That’s a combination of technique and personal conformation. Some people do, some don’t.

    Participant
    Tacye on #152007

    If you want to play a harp in the middle of the strings your left arm needs to be up to be free to move, so far from the soundboard.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #152008

    It looks to me like the playing of an early Salzedo pupil, which she was, so maybe for filming purposes she relied on his teaching of showmanship. Resting or letting the right arm touch the sounding-board is a traditional way of playing for many harpists, but not at all necessary.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #152009

    There is a historic film of Lucile Lawrence which I believe will be posted soon, and there is one, silent of Carlos Salzedo which I wish would be posted.

    Participant
    Misty Harrison on #152010

    The Renie method book and maybe even the beginning of Old Tunes for New Harpists talk about resting the right wrist lightly on the soundboard. It really stabilizes your hand when you’re playing repeated notes like the 4-finger trill or things in the highest registers. There are also reasons for not doing it and you have to be sure it’s just resting lightly and not pressing on the board or else you can have serious nerve damage to the inside of your wrist.

    There’s an interesting article by a student of Salzedo saying what she remembers of him talking about not resting the right wrist on the soundboard. It’s in an early AHJ.

    Participant
    karen-conoan on #152011

    A. Hasselmans piece, “Will-o’the-wisp” (Follets) is in the collection Album of Solo Pieces for the Harp Volume I

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #152012

    The arm should provide plenty of stability. I believe it has been observed that Salzedo did sometimes play with his wrist touching, being a Frenchman, though he did not teach that, far as I know.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #152013

    I saw a master class Mildred Dilling gave around 1976, she drew a crowd!

    Participant
    Misty Harrison on #152014

    Thanks Karen and Barbara. I had never heard the piece before and when she said “Fireflies,” I never guessed it was the Annie Louise David book piece. I did know that piece was in the David collection.

    Participant
    Bonnie Shaljean on #152015

    Carl, that is just fantastic – thanks so much!

    Participant
    Bonnie Shaljean on #152016

    Carl, is there any chance you could post a link to your blog(s) on Dilling?

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #152017

    Bonnie- I’ve been thinking of putting the whole Dilling blog up on my company web site, http://www.swansonharp.com. I have an ARTICLES page there and have all of the articles I’ve written over the years which have been published in either the Journal of the American Harp Society or The Harp Column. Let me talk to Kim about this.

    Part of the problem with looking for them in the blog archives here is that you have to start with the earliest one and go backwards through the blogs to read the whole article in proper sequence. So give me a few days and it should be up on my web site.

    Participant
    barbara-brundage on #152018

    Hi, Bonnie. It was one of the well-known male harpists who just sat and listened to him–he never identifies the person. Mildred Dilling was a good friend; when Harpo (who played by ear and didn’t read music) couldn’t remember how part of a piece goes, he’d call her and have her play it for him over the phone till he got it in his ear enough to go back to the harp and figure it out, according to the book.

    Member
    tony-morosco on #152019

    Yes, according to the book he didn’t have any formal lessons other than the one with the guy who just listened and, according to Harpo, just wanted to learn how HE played.

    Mildred Dilling helped him figure things out. He would call her when he would listen to a record and couldn’t figure out how to play what he heard. Sometimes calling her in New York late at night forgetting about the time difference. He said despite that she always was willing to help.

    But while she did help him figure things out he never had any actual lessons with her. His technique was completely self taught.

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