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Debussy Premiere Arabesque


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#1 Pickle

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Posted 11 October 2019 - 13:59

Anyone else out there in the world of lever harp ever played this? The Barbara Brundage arrangement.

 

I'm wondering how you coped with the lever changes in bar 23 where the 2 f#'s go to natural.

 

I appreciate there is a rit. in the bar before, but despite weeks of working on this phrase, when played as written, I can't get it without a jazzy slide on the lower F and often stumbling over the second half of the bar where it goes a tempo.

Not unless I take the whole piece at snail's pace!

 

Is there some magical fingering which will sort it? Or a swapping of which hand plays which notes? I've got so desperate I am experimenting, but if someone has already sorted it, I would love to hear how.

 

Thanks!


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#2 dorfmouse

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 10:57

Your question is far above my league, but do you know the Harp Column forum? It is somewhat more active than around here!

https://harpcolumn.com/forums/
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#3 Pickle

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 12:22

Thanks Dorfmouse! I read the Harpcolumn frequently, but generally find this forum more, how shall we say, er, kindly? More gentle? More understanding to those of us who have the temerity to attempt classical music on what is widely regarded as a folk instrument.

 

If there is no solution here, I may have to gird my loins, or down a G & T and post there. Or work out how to do it myself. (I may have found a solution which involves leaving out one note. Is that heretical? :rolleyes: )

 

I hope your pursuit of the perfect lever change is progressing well.

 

Best wishes, Pickle.


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#4 dorfmouse

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Posted 14 October 2019 - 18:11

Hi Pickle, do you have a teacher? If not I could show the offending section to mine when I see her next, but that won't be until Saturday week. She's an orchestral harpist but doesn't seem to have any problems finding lever solutions.
And whatever the instrument, I'm sure it's better to leave out a note rather than flail around and destroy the flow.
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#5 Pickle

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Posted 16 October 2019 - 20:53

Dorfmouse, thank you for your kind offer. I have been trying to upload an image of the problem bar for 2 days now and still can't work out how to do it.

I persuaded my S.O.H. to have a try for me (he's much better at matters technological than I am) and he thinks that for some reason I don't have permission. So I am baffled as to what to do.

 

I'll work something out. If I could only change levers with my nose.... I think I'll just drop a note. Surely one out of several hundred won't be missed all that much.

 

Thanks for trying.


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#6 dorfmouse

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 07:11

Do let us know how you get on! Are you learning it for an occasion?
Mindful adaptations of the score are just part and parcel of having to cope with the limitations of the instrument or one's ability to play what's written. Small handed pianists must often miss out notes from huge chords or rewrite the chord judiciously. In woodwind music, especially baroque, there are often screeds of fast notes with nowhere to breathe, you just have to choose where to drop a note. Singers demand key-changes to suit their voices.
I'm sure you'll do a musical job! You must be quite advanced to tackle this piece!
Do post some more. It'd be nice to hear more voices on this forum!
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#7 chris13

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 11:36

One method of putting an image or document into a post is to first use Google Documents to make a copy then publish it to the web thus giving the document a web address. Copy the web address into your post and then others can open it.


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#8 erard

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 21:33

Can you express exactly what the problem is?  Without seeing that bar I have a couple of suggestions imagining what the problem might be.

 

Changing two levers fast - does it work for your levers to change them at the same time with thumb and 4th or 3rd finger?  Does it help to reach over the neck and change one with the right hand? This is usually not needed, but can be useful.

 

A 'jazzy slide' sounds like you need to damp that string before you change the lever or even with a finger as you change it.


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#9 Pickle

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Posted 21 October 2019 - 20:45

Chris13, thank you for that very useful direction. Hopefully, the below link will display the pdf of the troublesome bar 23. Phew! I am such a luddite! I had to wait for assistance to acomplish even this. Groan!

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

 

Dorfmouse, I don't have a teacher. I teach myself, but sometime the teacher needs a teacher.

 

Erard, both hands are pretty busy at this point and the lower F needs to be naturalised a quaver away from where it was last played as a sharp. Hence the jazz. Even putting in a rit., if I get a clean F natural, generally my left hand is late, or clumsy, or both reaching down to that low D. It's frustrating as the rest of the piece is perfectly playable. (er, as far as page 5 anyway - I haven't got beyong sight reading page 6 yet...)

 

Thanks again everyong for putting your time and energy into this.


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#10 erard

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 17:47

I think I would damp the lower F with my right thumb as I played the B -not before, you don't want staccato.


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#11 Pickle

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 16:06

Thanks Erard. I tried this, and it certainly gets rid of the jazzy lever slide, but gives my already busy right hand something else to do. I can manage it if I apply the rit in the previous bar Very Seriously. I think perhaps my biggest problem is that I have listened to too many pedal harp versions on youTube where there is no rit here and the piece flows swiftly at this point. I suspect what I really need to do is stop listening to other interpretations and learn to hear my own version in my head.

 

So. Practice. And practice some more. And Slow Down. Er, just like I tell my pupils...... Maybe I should listen to myself. :lol:


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