Question about Notating large rolled chords

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Member
    heterophonic on #186704


    I’m preparing the score for a symphony I just completed, and discussions with a conductor brought up the consideration that I should try, if I can, to show in the score how to break up large rolled (8 notes over 3 octaves) chords between left and right hands. As a non-harpist, I feel that it might be presumptuous to do so, as more likely, an experienced harpist would know better, and perhaps, more importantly, different performers might have a different opinion on fingering. As a pianist, I know it is often helpful when seeing a score already laid out such that it makes sense, with less deciphering and makes for simpler readability. Should I consult a harpist then to advise about the part such that it can be properly written into the score?


    Luis Andrei Cobo

    carl-swanson on #186705

    It would be best to consult a good harpist about the whole harp part. The harpist will very likely have suggestions not only about how to notate that chord, but also about better ways of voicing it so it sounds the way you want it to sound.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #186731

    No, you should not dictate how to break up the chord, only say molto arpeggiato or use a very wide squiggle. But unless the chord has a fermata or takes up a measure, it should only be eight notes. A player will not want to have to jump one hand unless there is nothing in the next bar. You can also write out the notes as an arpeggio or as grace notes before the beat. If there is space to write in our fingering, it is much appreciated.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #186732

    If you send me the phrase, I can edit for you, perhaps. Maybe you don’t need such a wide spread.

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