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Arpeggios hands together


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#1 dorfmouse

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Posted 01 April 2022 - 08:14

I find these quite difficult and was whinging about them to my harp teacher, who agrees. I was wondering what the point was, and do they occur often in the harp repertoire. She said no, and mostly when she has met them in orchestra it's when two harps are playing and they each take one octave. The only piece she could recall offhand for solo harp is in Britten's Young Person's Guide, and they are very exposed.
So not at all liked even by professional harpists, and very rare in literature for normal mortals.
She was surprised that they are introduced at G3 and then in first inversion in G4.
Not that I'm going to fret about it, but if I do decide to do G4 as a goal next year it's irritating to spend time on techniques that aren't really useful.
Perhaps those of you who have done exams have a view?
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#2 Pickle

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Posted 04 April 2022 - 12:30

As straight arpeggios together in the same inversion, I can’t think of any examples, but with different inversions played together, there are many. And probably more examples where one hand plays an inversion as a chord while the other plays a different inversion sequentially or as an Alberti bass. (Nadermann is full of them). But I agree, the scales and arpeggios as set for harp by ABRSM look to be lifted straight off the piano syllabus. I can get quite rantful about folks who think that the harp is just a piano with it’s clothes off, but I burnt my soap box to save on fuel bills ;-).
Likewise, the Dominant 7ths. I’ll agree, it’s useful to know what the arpeggios are, how they are formed, ditto dominant 7ths – I mean arpeggios were practically invented by the harp (the word Arpeggio is derived from the Italian for harp) – but straight off hands together – apart from an aid to manual dexterity - of limited use. Add to that, they are the same for whatever key you choose. Once you can set your levers or pedals, a scale or arpeggio in Eb major is the same as one in A harmonic minor or whatever, just a different starting point. A bit of a waste of time in my biased opinion.
It would be far more constructive to set exercises like the “Exercises et Etudes” by Lariviere, or the Boscha Etudes. I used to dread these, but I’m now so glad I was pushed to do them. Tedious, but useful and highly recommended.

Rant over. (For a while. I'll go and make another soap box out of old pallets - oh no! I burnt them too)


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#3 dorfmouse

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Posted 04 April 2022 - 13:31

"A piano with its clothes off!" Love it! (Reminds me of the German word for a slug which is a naked snail!)
And I agree that well-selected exercises are generally more useful for harp technique development than piles of scales which seem to be more of a test of theory than of technique.
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#4 Norway

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Posted 26 July 2022 - 08:56

Bumping down the spam.


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