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Harmonics on clarsach


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#16 dorfmouse

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 13:59

Thumbs up too for Christy Lynn!

Misterioso, I got my Scarborough Fair at Creighton's Collection shop which has a wonderful selection of harp music:
https://www.creighto...orah_Friou.html

For LH harmonics you use the heel (or is it called the ball?) of the thumb to touch the string while plucking with the outside top edge of the thumb. I'm sure Josh demonstrates. My teacher says imagine holding a tennis ball gently in the hand. I couldn't do it at all for quite a while but I seem to have found the position now and it doesn't feel so awkward any more. My teacher finds the LH ones easier than the right though of course she pings beautifully even though she claims to miss sometimes!
Haven't heard of Caren's Farewell, will look for a recording.

My C below middle C started to buzz a few days ago and I can't see anything visibly wrong. Lever up for C# is fine. Google turns uo various possibilities but maybe it's time for a regulation.
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#17 AdLibitum

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 14:04

I would go to Josh to learn technique over any other online videos out there.
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#18 Misterioso

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 16:06

Do you keep it tuned? Not tuning it regularly is a major cause of string breakage. Or age, of course.

 

Ah - guilty. :( Thanks, AdLibitum - I will try to do better.

 

Misterioso, I got my Scarborough Fair at Creighton's Collection shop which has a wonderful selection of harp music:
https://www.creighto...orah_Friou.html

For LH harmonics you use the heel (or is it called the ball?) of the thumb to touch the string while plucking with the outside top edge of the thumb. I'm sure Josh demonstrates. My teacher says imagine holding a tennis ball gently in the hand. I couldn't do it at all for quite a while but I seem to have found the position now and it doesn't feel so awkward any more. My teacher finds the LH ones easier than the right though of course she pings beautifully even though she claims to miss sometimes!
Haven't heard of Caren's Farewell, will look for a recording.

My C below middle C started to buzz a few days ago and I can't see anything visibly wrong. Lever up for C# is fine. Google turns uo various possibilities but maybe it's time for a regulation.

 

Thank you, dorfmouse. Your posts are always a mine of information. Thanks for the link too - I will get onto that straightaway!

My Caren's Farewell is in a book called The Geneva Collection, and I've had it a long time so no idea if it's still available, although the tune will be available somewhere. If you draw a blank and would like a copy, PM me your email address and I could scan it to you.

 

I would go to Josh to learn technique over any other online videos out there.

 

I went to Josh to brush up on right-hand technique; it was so helpful as he goes into lots of detail. :)
 


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#19 dorfmouse

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 17:35

Hi Miterioso, thank you, I know a lot of things in theory and love researching, but the outcome in practice is not exactly stunning!
I'm still chugging along at an elementary level. All the things that piano beginners moan about I can relate to on the harp!
I've looked around for Caren's Farwell but only found various Karen videos or Carolan's Farewell!
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#20 Pickle

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Posted 10 June 2021 - 20:25

Misterioso, what kind of strings do you have? Gut ones break the most frequently. And change in humidity is often a trigger - if the harp has been standing in one place undisturbed, moving it, playing it and generally lavishing TLC on it can change the humidity which means the strings absorb moisture, swell, change shape, go out of tune and yes, snap. Harps can be ungrateful creatures sometimes.

Nylon tends not to break so often, but stretches unevenly and after a couple of years, looses its tone, but does so gradually so you don't notice it until one actually breaks and you replace it. Then you realise just how bad the others sound.

Carbon fibre or kevlar it even tougher. But each harp is designed to sound best with the string type it was made for, so I wouldn't recommend swopping string type without having a long conversation with the manufacturer and probably getting the harp re-regulated to suit the new string type. 

As for string buzzes.... locating them is a dark art. I spent quarter of a lesson for 3 weeks in a row last month, trying to locate what was causing a buzz in a pupils harp. It buzzed at 5th octave F#, but not F natural. We were both going demented trying to fix it. Finally located it - a bolt holding the leg in place was loose - nothing to do with the actual string. It just vibrated at that particular frequency. I have also heard tales of buzzes which apparently occur in one room only - take the harp next door and all is cured. Then something loose is discovered in the first room which just happens to resonate at that frequency - nothing to do with the  harp itself. I suspect harps are sentient. And break strings and buzz just to garner attention.


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#21 Misterioso

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 17:09

Thanks for your information, Pickle - you have extended my education. According to my stringing list, strings 1-24 are gut (yes - those are the ones that are snapping), strings 25-30 are wire wound with nylon core, and strings 31-34 are wire wound steel core. I think I have been pretty lucky up until recently as I could count the number of strings that have broken on the fingers of one hand, and that's ever since I had the harp around 20 (?) years ago. It's a Dominie Clarsach from Ardival Harps, so I get my strings from there.


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#22 dorfmouse

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Posted 11 June 2021 - 19:57

I seem to have fixed the buzz on C! The string kept slipping a bit flat as I was tuning so I did the bash the tuning key technique that I found somewhere, and lo! No buzz! In tune string!
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#23 Misterioso

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Posted 15 June 2021 - 12:34

Misterioso, I got my Scarborough Fair at Creighton's Collection shop which has a wonderful selection of harp music:
https://www.creighto...orah_Friou.html

 

 

Thanks. I ordered it from them, and my copy arrived yesterday! Looking forward to trying it out. :)


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#24 Norway

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Posted 16 June 2021 - 09:29

Good luck Misterioso. Never mind the sheet music - this is how it goes.

 

Twang,   twang, Twag,   twang, Twang, twangtwang Twang....


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