The beauty of the harp is often the sustained blend of harmonies lingering on creating an ever evolving sea of musical lovliness. However sometimes this isnt what the composer is intending. Chrisp notes are sometimes just as beautiful and are achieved through damping the strings. The harp doesnt have an inbuilt damping pedal or mechanism so the harpist has to damp themselves. There is an endless suply of damping techniques but the most important thing is to allow time for the harpist to use them. Harpists also dampen when a harmony changes. If you would like them to let the harmonies mesh you must write L.V. to ensure no damping. You can instruct your harpist to damp by using the symbols below:
One note damp
What is Étouffé?
Étouffé is a technique for the left hand or right hand 2nd finger. However it is difficult to perform in the right hand and takes time. Étouffé muffles singlular notes. It creates the illusion of a ‘walking bass’. The portato sign is usually used over each note to indicate Étouffé. Étouffé octaves in the left hand are popilar and give the bass a secure and clarity.
Project Director - Fran Barsby Photography by David Rann (Fotofilia Studios) Copyright Future Blend Project 2014
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