practical news, for practical harpists

Forums » Professional Harpists » looking for a pedal harp piece...

About Forums

Welcome to the Harp Column forums. Please read the Terms and Conditions before posting. By using this forum, you agree to adhere to these terms.

Want to add links or emphasis to your posts? Read the Harp Column blog about posting shortcuts.

looking for a pedal harp piece written after 1950

  • Lydia
    Lydia Michel


    I'm looking to include a modern/20th century pedal harp piece for a program I'm currently developing. For this program, the piece needs to be written after 1950, but preferably after 1975, which rules out alot of Salzedo. I'm pretty much completely unfamiliar with 20th century harp composers/repertoire, so any advice as to what to go for and what to avoid would be greatly appreciated!! Also, the piece should be in the late intermediate to advanced range to be appropriate to the program. Thanks~ Lydia

    replies to "looking for a pedal harp piece written after 1950"
    • Saul
      Saul Davis Zlatkovski

      I have published three pieces, and Salzedo did publish pieces after 1950. Dean Roush composed some wonderful solos, and there is the entire output of Ami Maayani, plus other wonderful Israeli composers. I'm not sure how one looks based on dates, but if you go through the harp music catalogs, most of the names you don't know are likely to be recent composers.

    • Angela
      Angela Madjarova

      Hi Lydia,

      Just a suggestion, Sergio Natra - Sonatina /1965/ is a nice piece.



    • Barbara
      Barbara Brundage

      I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Bernard Andres yet.

    • Tacye
      Tacye Phillipson

      Also David Watkins and William Mathias.  

    • Lydia
      Lydia Michel

      Thanks, these will be good leads. Saul, I was wondering what your pieces were like in style, length, difficulty, etc? Also, has anyone played or heard Roger Boutry's piece Aquarelles, and what was you opinion of it?

    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      Hovhaness has some things for solo harp that are nice and fun. Josef Tal has some difficult but good ones and he is one of the Israeli composers like Saul mentioned. Damase also has some things. You should listen to some recordings because some composers like Damase and Andres write differently from Salzedo and other composers so the tone of the piece is remarkably different and you probably need a good idea of what type of modern/contemporary music you want to play.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth Volpé Bligh

      Have you heard of "Spiders" by Paul Patterson?

    • Lydia
      Lydia Michel

      Yes, I have heard of it, but have never actually listened to it or seen the music before. Actually, I considered purchasing it a while ago because it sounded, obviously, interesting :) ! But the price tag was a little much for only my curiosity's sake. Have you played it? What is your opinion of it? Thanks!

    • Saul
      Saul Davis Zlatkovski

      American Pictures: Prairie Night is around four minutes, I think, is in the American classical genre, scenic. It is moderately difficult, not terribly fast, requires musicality.

      Villanesca: in memory of Dewey Owens is a lively flute-like melody over changing ostinato bass lines, with one rather tricky figure, it is musically simpler, but a bit more technically challenging.

      Both are published by Da Costa Music House and available from me at the moment.

      Nocturne is the longest, six or seven minutes, I think, a dreamy somewhat more modern romantic work, reminiscent of Giselle. It is published by Harpiana editions, and available from them or certain dealers, I'm not sure which.

      At least one Salzedo work, Prelude for a Drama, was published after 1950.

      I have the markings for Tal's Intrada, which is quite fun to play. I have many other works of other composers, and my own, either not quite finished or not published yet.

      I think the best thing is to go through the catalogs and buy as many pieces as you can, and by names you don't know, and occasionally you will find a gem that justifies the others. If people don't buy music, there won't be any more published to buy, or that will be sold, except popular fluff.

    • Paul
      Paul Wren

      How about Pierre Sancan's Theme and Variations, think was written in 1975. Love this piece!