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
Re: Playing the lever harp in a key of flats 19:29 on Wednesday, July 23, 2008
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.
Re: Playing the lever harp in a key of flats 19:43 on Wednesday, July 23, 2008
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.