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Playing the lever harp in a key of flats 
 

Playing the lever harp in a key of flats

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Playing the lever harp in a key of flats    19:11 on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

celticlady
(165 points)

I know there aren't many harpist here but maybe one of the few can answer this. It doesn't look like I'll be able to own a pedal harp soon. There are alot of songs I want to play that have flats in them and you obviously can't play flats on a lever harp only sharps. But what if I tuned the string down to a flat to play those songs and then I could just use the levers to play a natural if I wanted too or somehow. Is that the way a celtic harpist would do it if they wanted to play flats or is there a better way of doing it. Sorry if this seems confusing

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Re: Playing the lever harp in a key of flats    19:29 on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1273 points)

I am not a harpist but I spent quite a deal of time with a harpist ocmmuting to orchestra concerts. I am familiar with the pedal harp. I understand the lever raises your string one semi-tone. Even though the piece is in flats you can pretend it is in sharps. Say for instance you come up upon a Bb, play A# instead. Can you do that?

What little I have read does say some lever harpists will returnthe instrument to fit the piece they are playing. So, yes you could retune the instrument. In college when I was doing my apprenticeship in piano rebuilding I got to retune the harpischords between pieces to put htem in the correct modes. You could do the same with harp. How many strings are on your lever, I know there is large range.


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Re: Playing the lever harp in a key of flats    19:43 on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

celticlady
(165 points)

My harp has 36 strings and yes I could do a A# but then I wouldn't be able to do A natural. And theres a good chance I'd have to use A natural in a song that is in a key of F.

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Re: Playing the lever harp in a key of flats    06:11 on Thursday, July 24, 2008 Vote for this post Vote against this post 0 votes

JOhnlovemusic
(1273 points)

Okay, well there are sacrifices that must be made if you are going to play more complex music. I have done a litle more research you can move the lever with your left hand while playing with your right and then bring your left hand right back. Or you can retune just those strings so they are flat without and natural with the lever.

I don't want you to leave this forum but this link might be more beneficial to you.

http://www.harpcolumn.com/

<Added>

I have an email out to a freind harpist. I wi ll let you know when she gets back to me.

   

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