Overplaying the instrument…

  • Member
    tony-morosco on #150777

    When it comes to composers who wrote well for harp Debussy is always the first name that comes to mind for me. What I find interesting is that even things he wrote for piano can often work wonderfully on harp. Clair De Lune, 1st Arabesque, La Fille Aux Cheveux De Lin… all could have been written for the harp they work so well on it.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on #150778

    Actually, in the case of the 1st Arabesque, I think it’s better on the harp than piano.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150779

    It depends a lot on the orchestra you play in and the acoustics of your hall. Alice Chalifoux’s tone worked perfectly in the Cleveland Orchestra, which is rather dry sounding, and the extra edge she puts on the notes so they cut through are not harmful to the overall sound. That has a lot to do with their hall, I’m pretty sure. It wouldn’t work in the same way in a lush hall. There are things you can do to alter your tone to affect its projection. It would be wonderful if we could easily study the shapes of our soundwaves if our tuners had oscilloscope functions. Soundwaves can be altered in their onset as well as decay.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150780

    Actually, I am reminded of the fervent sect-like orientations in the dance world, between ballet and modern, and within each field, tremendous and fierce loyalties to instructors and choreographers and companies. It is still pretty strong today. I think it is merely a result of the expanding arts of the 20th century, where in the 19th century there were fewer choices. I know pianists who are equally partisan about their schools of playing, and they have many more than harpists do. It is the nature of the world of art. I am glad that many of us believe enough in what we do to care so deeply. I respect that. What a boring world it is when every one always agrees or never speaks their mind.

    Participant
    Dwyn . on #150781

    “‘overpulling’ or overplaying the instrument doesn’t really increase the volume. It just changes the sound coming out and somehow makes it less pitch oriented and more noise oriented.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #150782

    Some of this goes to your expectations, what your image of a harp is and how it should sound or affect you. If someone plays it much like a concert grand piano, to someone who thinks harps should always sound soothing or pretty or angelic, they may be shocked. The harp actually has an extremely wide dynamic range, and emotional range as well.

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