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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: PEDAL MARKINGS #223685

    Alison- Thank you for your reply on this subject. The core problem in my mind is that most harpists, especially at an advanced level, have spent years playing pieces in which they themselves have written in the pedals. So for each of these harpists, the pedals follow their particular system: between the staves, below the lower staff, left above right, right above left, green ink, red ink, pencil, etc. etc. etc. The variations are endless, and always in the hand writing of the harpist. My feeling is that we all need to learn to read pedals where and how they are written or printed. Many rental parts for example have correct pedals hand written in, but often each harpist who uses the part rewrites them, just so they will look the way they are used to seeing them.

    I would suggest to ALL harpists that, as a learning exercise, you try using a part the way the pedals are written in, without changing anything. Just get used to reading other harpists pedal writing, provided of course that they are correct. I think that, in time, you will become more adept at reading any and all pedals, which will be to your benefit. Stated another way, reading pedals is just one more skill that you need to develop to be able to learn music quickly and accurately. Being able to read pedals wherever and however they are written will save you a lot of unnecessary work.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: My Antique Erard on a movie set #222955

    Haha! I took the picture when I went to pick up the harp. They had just started to break down the sets. I’m hoping that they had it facing in the right direction when they shot the scene!

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: My Antique Erard on a movie set #222911

    One of my Swanson Empire harps appears in Django Unchained by Quinten Tarantino.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: My Antique Erard on a movie set #222908

    It’s funny how movies can mess up the period stuff. In Gone with the Wind, in the burning of Atlanta sequence, there is a wagon in one scene loaded with furniture, and a Lyon & Healy style 15 harp! Those were not around until the early 1900’s.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: My Antique Erard on a movie set #222884

    The house is in central Massachusetts and was built in 1902. They are using a much older house for the exteriors, but are using the three main rooms on the ground floor of this house for the interiors. Here’s another picture. This is the room next to the ‘music room.’ Absolutely everything in this room was brought in for the shoot. They had brought in enough things(furniture, paintings, lighting fixtures, drapes, etc.) to furnish 4 big houses. The house is currently for sale, for 5 million dollars, which frankly is a bargain given its size and all the property that goes with it.

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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: My Antique Erard on a movie set #222858

    I should add that the initial request was to use it for an outdoor wedding scene, which I was very reluctant to agree to. Had they stuck with that plan, then I would have insisted on being on set the entire time they had it. But the plan was changed and instead the harp is just decoration in the music room.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Tuning new pedal harp #222838

    Harps should ALWAYS be tuned in flat position. When the pedals are in flat position(meaning all the way up) the action is NOT engaged. So tune the whole harp in flat, never in natural or sharp.

    The one exception to this that I can think of is if you are playing in an orchestra and want to be sure that the notes you need for the part you have to play are perfectly in tune. In that case, I would still start by tuning the whole harp in flat. Then put the pedals into the key you will be playing in and check the tuning in that key. If there are a few critical notes in the part, tune those exactly as they will be used in the part, i.e., if you need a low G# for example, then check and tune that string in #.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Humidifiers #222424

    I’ve never heard of any health problems from humidifiers. If you want to make sure there are no living organisms in the water, just put a teaspoon of bleach in the water from time to time.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Harp teacher survey #221344

    I did that several times. It just takes me to a google page that lists surveymonkey.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Harp teacher survey #221342

    I’ve copied and pasted the above address twice and it takes me to the home page of surveymonkey. What am I suppose to do then?

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Unusual Harp Harmonic Notation #220165

    I suspect that this composer read about Salzedo’s method of writing harmonics where they sound, and not where you play them. If that’s the case, then you would roll the chord and the left hand would quickly replay the note an octave lower than the harmonic note, as a harmonic. If that is the intended way of playing the chords that end in a harmonic note, then I think I would play the lowest note in the chord with the left hand, the next three with the right hand, and the harmonic(an octave lower than written) with the left hand.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Playing w thumb collapse #219707

    Jennifer- So sorry to hear about this. How do your other fingers function? What level are you used to playing at? Maybe you could try refingering what you play using only 2,3, and 4. Reinhart Elster, who was the principal harpist at the Metropolitan Opera for many many years, had arthritis in his fingers towards the end of his long career. He managed to continue playing by changing fingerings. I think by the time he retired, he wasn’t using much more than his two index fingers! The great American pianist Byron Janis had the same problem and had to refinger everything he played, but continued to play in public.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by  carl-swanson.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Angelus – Renie #219592

    Gretchen- I’m entirely in agreement with you. I have no idea what Jennifer is offended about.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Rivets seizing on pedals #219575

    All of the 20th century harp companies(Lyon & Healy, Wurlitzer, Venus, etc.) used bronze rivets to hold the brass pedal to the steel pedal bar. Over time, and lots of folding and unfolding the pedals, that joint either becomes so tight that it can’t be moved, or so loose that the pedal will not stay folded up. Most companies now use a bolt and nut specially made for that joint that can be adjusted for tightness. Whenever I have to replace those bronze rivets, I drill the old rivet out, smear the hole with graphite grease, and then install a bolt and nut. It works beautifully and can be adjusted from time to time if needed to make it tighter or looser.

    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Angelus – Renie #219118

    Balfour- You’re right. Angelus was rung three times a day. But for centuries, workers worked a 12 hour day, which started at 6 in the morning and went until 6 at night. So the Angelus ringing of the bells marked the beginning and end of the work day for most people. I think the peasants in the Millet painting are thanking God that the work day is finally over!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 2,145 total)