notation question

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    I have what might be a dumb question-I have been playing harp for

    about 4 years-took lessions for about 1 years (already played piano

    for more years then I want to admit) I play in my church orchestra

    (lever harp) & for the most part have no problems. Occasionally, we

    get one of those pesky “hand written” piece of music & the

    glissandos (after 100 measures of rest) are indicated by a note

    followed by a ‘squggly’ line-sometimes up or down, sometimes up &

    down-I have been play the glis.-using the written note as the start

    & if the line goes up then down (or vice versa), I have been playing

    the glss. the same….is that right? Thanks, Connie

    — connie browning, August 25, 2005


    I’m not sure I understand your question, but here goes…yes, the first note is where you

    start, then you sometimes have to figure out the duration of the gliss by counting

    backwards from where it ends. Occasionally they will write the first note as the actual

    length of the glissando. For example, a dotted quarter note as the first note of the gliss

    means that the whole gliss lasts for that dotted quarter note’s duration. And yes, you

    follow the direction of the squiggly line up or down. Sometimes conductors will ask you to

    add more flourishes, even when the music doesn’t show it. Always note the dynamics of a

    gliss! Sometimes they diminuendo instead of crescendo. If you have a hand free, it’s

    helpful to grab the last note with the thumb as you gliss up to it with the other hand. That

    way, you can look at the conductor and yet not worry about missing that final note.

    Sorry…you got more than you asked for!

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