Number of Harps in the orchestra

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Participant
    MusikFind1 on #61435

    Number of Harps in the orchestra.

    David Daniels Orchestral Music 4th edition and its internet version – Orchestral Music Online <http://www.orchestralmusic.com/subscribe/index.shtml>
    lists the instrumentation for standard repertoire. They have these listings for the number of Harps requested or written for by the composers:

    1 harp: 2115 standard works.
    2 harps: 424 standard works.
    3 harps: 16 works (3 of those have 1 real part).
    4 harps: 4 works [1 with 4 real parts, 2 with a doubling of 2 real parts, 1 with a doubling of 1 real part.]
    6 harps: 4 works [ 1 with 1 real part, 3 with a doubling of 2 real parts.]
    12 harps: 1 work with 12 harps doubling 1 real part – Berlioz: Te Deum, op.22: Marche pour la présentation des drapeaux (March for the Presentation of the Colors)

    Participant
    Tacye on #61436

    I assume the 6 harp works are the Ring Cycle and while Rheingold has parts for 6 harpists it asks for 7 harps as there is time for a harpist to move from the pit to offstage (or is it onstage?), but moving the harp would be impractical. Just in the interests of persnicketyness and all that.

    Participant
    Alison on #61437

    I’m impressed by the research, to learn that there are more than 2000 individual works is staggering as is the tally of pieces with 2 parts.

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