March 11, 2011 at 8:39 pm #106411
A recent tuning thread has reminded me of this question I’ve had in my head. I’ll beMarch 12, 2011 at 3:12 am #106412Brian StevensonParticipant
Tuning when playing with an orchestra or concert band should be done well ahead of time.March 12, 2011 at 3:13 am #106413laura-palmieriParticipant
I’ve wondered the same thing when I play in concert band too.I don’t think my group really cares but I always feel odd just sitting there while everyone is tuning. Sometimes I do pull the harp back and check the strings just for myself but I always feel kind of funny because you can’t really tune anything at that point.March 12, 2011 at 3:54 am #106414Saul Davis ZlatkovskiParticipant
Most oboists I dealt with came over to the harp to get my A. And, of course, you can’t retune at that time.March 12, 2011 at 4:31 am #106415carl-swansonParticipant
Tune well ahead of time and then consult with the oboist to make sure the A that he/she gives is the same as your A. Many years ago I played with a local civic orchestra. I tuned well ahead of time, to A 440. When the rehearsal started the oboist gave an A that was almost a quarter step sharp! I stopped him and told the conductor, who was standing right there, that that A was too high. So the oboist took his A from me and then the rest of the orchestra tuned to him.March 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm #106416Elizabeth LParticipant
If you tune well ahead of time, by the time the rehearsal or concert starts, you may already be out of tune.March 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm #106417paul-wrenParticipant
Always a good idea to ask the oboe what they are tuning too. Some orcherstas that I have playedMarch 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm #106418TacyeParticipant
If you are playing a piece with instruments which are more fixed than the harp (organ, piano, more rarely big tuned percussion parts) it is worth working out what they are tuned to before you start.March 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm #106419
Thanks everybody. I’m going to have the harp tuned beforehand (I play with them every week on flute – we’re A 440 no doubt). I was just wondering what to actually do while everybody else is doing the group thing, since by then the harp is in tune or it isn’t and I didn’t want to just sit there looking pretty.March 12, 2011 at 9:23 pm #106420TacyeParticipant
Well, I don’t advise you to sit there making ugly faces.March 12, 2011 at 9:38 pm #106421
I hope I don’t overdo it and distract the oboist with my prettiness.March 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm #106422tony-moroscoMember
Well, if I were you I would check my A against the oboe and, assuming that it is correct and so no serious problem is about to ruin you, quickly check the rest of the octave of what ever octave you are going to be doing most of your playing in.
In the event that a string may have gone out of tune for some reason, or that you just missed one, you want to be most concerned with the notes you will be playing most in the piece. So if there are only a note or two in the first octave being played, but most of your playing is in the third octave for the piece then check those just to make sure that nothing has gone awry. You can’t retune the whole harp, but you should be able to make a last minute correction to one or two strings if you catch it during the tuning phase.
Or just pretend to be checking by playing some intervals or arpeggios. I find arpeggios a good way to catch the odd, out of tune string anyway.March 12, 2011 at 11:40 pm #106423David IceParticipantMarch 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm #106424shelby-mParticipant
I heard a quote once that went something like “Never argue with stupid people – first they drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.”
It seems to me that harpists have to deal with more than their fair share of stupid people!March 31, 2011 at 9:40 pm #106425Saul Davis ZlatkovskiParticipant
Well, I’m not shy about asking the oboe if he wants my A, or asking if my A matches his/hers.
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