Does anyone out there know where to obtain the music for this lullaby?
This is a thorny issue Clinton. With no markings whatsoever(pedal markings, pedal diagrams, etc.) each harpist has to ‘reinvent the wheel’ and do endless editing to put all that stuff in. And if it’s a rental part, then these markings get written in over and over again because one harpist likes the pedals marked one way, another likes them another, etc. But even though it may have been a professional harpist doing the editing, Pedal markings, unfortunately, vary from person to person as to how and where they get written in. So it’s a big mess.
I would suggest the following.
1) Have several other very good harpists look at the edited part BEFORE it’s printed and get their commentary. It should be possible to arrive at a consensus that makes the most number of people happy.
2) Print the letters for the pedal markings as large as possible. My biggest beef about printed markings is that they are too small to read easily.
3) Try to use a standardized format. If the foot stays on the pedal until the next change, then put a line after it. If the change is only a few beats later, then the line extends to the next change. If the change is several measures or more later, put a short line after the pedal and then a short line before the next change, repeating the letter of the pedal at the second change.
4) put pedal diagrams wherever they will help. Again, make them large enough to see easily.
If the printed pedals are easy to read, I think that most harpists will adapt to them even though it may not be the way they would write them themselves.
Clinton- I was pressed for time when I wrote the previous post. I’ve thought of a few more comments.
The first choice for pedal markings is below the staff. Some harpists prefer left over right and others right over left. Choose one and be consistent.
If below the staff cannot be done in one place or another(because notes on ledger lines go way below the staff, then put the changes wherever they will fit and can be seen easily. There is nothing wrong with some pedals being written below the staff and others between the staves. Again, if they are printed large enough, no one will complain.
In addition to having several other professional harpists see the part before it goes to print, it would be great to have a couple of good harpists or harp students sight read the part while you observe them. The acid test of any edition is: Does the printed page tell you easily and clearly where to put your fingers, which hand plays what, and what pedals get moved? If someone can sight read the part(slowly for sure) without having to stop to decipher what is on the page, then your edition is a success.
If I know pedal markings have been put in by an actual harpist then I always appreciate the help & it saves me a TON of work. Pedal diagrams also are always helpful especially at major starting points and after long tacets.
I know each harpist has their own way of notating pedals, I personally HATE HATE HATE pedals below the staff (sorry Carl!) & I also have my own preference for which foot goes ontop of the other when it comes to 2 changes simultaneously, but if they are correct & printed then I will simply make a copy & rewrite them in where I like to see them.
I love to get all the help I can get when it comes to preparing multiple orchestra parts week after week, month after month & I thank you for your efforts on behalf of all us orchestral harpists!
Louise- I personally like to have the pedal markings as close to whatever else is going on as possible and I’m comfortable with them being either between the staves or below the bass staff, provided they are not so far away from the action that I don’t see them. It seems to me that if the pedals are printed in the edition and are 1) correct, 2) large enough to read easily and 3) placed in a way that you don’t have to hunt for them, any professional harpist ought to be able to adjust to the format and just use them.
What used to drive me crazy about rental parts is that each pedal would be written in 5 or 6 times(below the staff, between the staves, in Green, in Red, right above left, left above right, etc.) and my brain would just freeze up every time I came to a pedal change. I also hate, detest, and loath notes with circles around them that mean you play them enharmonically. Every time I see one of those I think “Is it the string above or below that that I have to play?” In the end, I firmly believe that what is written on the page should tell you instantly, without having to think about it, what you are supposed to do.
I keep harping on the issue of making the printed pedal letters large enough. If you look at music with printed letters, and then look at any music where you had to write in the pedals, your own hand written letters are 4 or 5 times larger than the printed letters. Why can’t the printed letters be that large? If they were, I think most harpists could adapt to using them as published instead of having to rewrite them. I wonder if at least half the reason harpists rewrite the pedaling even when printed pedaling is there isn’t because the printed letters are just too small to read.
You’re right about the printed pedals being teeny tiny on the most part, also the other thing that bugs me is when the pedal is written e.g C-C# instead of just a plain old C#, I already KNOW that I currently have a C nat., that’s a case of too much unnecessary information. I don’t see as much of multiple pedals marked by seventy-two different harpists in all colors of the rainbow in the classical repertoire that we get in as rentals than I do in Pops concert charts, ugh, it drives me nuts! I too much prefer to see the actual string I have to play instead of a circled enharmonic, I will copy the section or page & rewrite it as played.
1. I agree with Louise that it would be an enormous help to get the pedals written in, if they are done well. Even though I frequently disagree with the pedalling and fingerings that have been previously marked, at least one has a starting point. As Louise says, one can make a copy, white out the markings you dislike, then make your own edition.
2. I like the pedal markings below or between the staff, but not above it. Then I don’t know which staff those pedals belong to.
3. Diagrams are necessary at all starting points.
4. The pedal changes don’t need to be in the full score, unless we want the conductor to understand why the harpist looks so stressed.
The problem with the pedal changes being too small to read is attributable to the font size in the software programs. I have not been able to figure out how to make those accidental signs get bigger in my Sibelius software.
And, as Carl points out, If there are double flats or enharmonics, it would be great to have the actual note instead of a circled one.
Speaking as someone who published an edition of Une Chatelaine en sa Tour, I can tell you that it is extremely important to proof read the part many times BEFORE it goes to press. And to have several harpists proof it. Preferably harpists who don’t know the part. It is soooooooooo easy to get a pedal wrong, leave out something, etc. and the person who did the original editing is the worst one to proof because she knows it so well that she’s likely to miss something that was left out.
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