carl-swanson

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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Shopping for instrument insurance #216600

    “Complete” coverage with homeowners insurance is usually fire and theft, but not accidental damage. I’ve had clients over the years who had their instruments insured on their homeowners, and who were assured every year at renewal time that there harps were “completely covered.” Then the dog knocked the harp over and it needed a new neck. It was only then that they found out that accidents were not covered. Also, musical instrument insurance is typically a “floating” policy, meaning that the harp is covered no matter where it is: in the car, in church, in school, etc. whether or not the harpist is using it for “earning money.” So I always advise clients to spend the extra money and get musical instrument insurance through an agency that specializes in musical instrument insurance,like Anderson.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Adding color to Truitt levers? #216566

    There’s a product called DYKEM layout fluid, which is used by machinists. It comes in blue and red. You can get it at any industrial hardware supplier. I use that to color the C and F levers.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Music for Harp & Strings #216462

    Marcel Tournier wrote string quartet parts to some of his images and they are just wonderful. Erica Goodman made a recording of them years ago. You might listen to some of them.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Carrol Mclaughlin Obituary #215906

    The above was published in the Arizona Daily Star March 16, 2018.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: How's this harp part? #215903

    You must be English. A “crotchet” I think is an eighth note isn’t it? So counting eighth notes, 8 beats to the measure. It might be possible to play your first option. Here are three ways it could be fingered. 1) Each hand would play two notes, alternating back and forth through the whole measure. The left hand would play the first two notes, the right hand the next two, then left and right continuing through the whole measure, always playing just two notes at a time.
    2) Play the first 3 notes of each 32nd note group with the left hand and the last note of the group with the right, OR, 3) Play the first note of each group with the left hand and the last 3 with the right. That’s probably the one that would work best and be perfectly playable. In that version, the left hand would play the first note of the first group with 4, then the first note of the next with 1, and continue like that through the measure. I would suggest you find a good harpist, have that person try the three suggestions I made, and then notate it for the one that he/she says works the best.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  carl-swanson.

    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: How's this harp part? #215893

    It’s PERFECT!!!


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: How's this harp part? #215882

    The second one is much better. But you need to change the notation. In all of those arpeggios, the left hand will play 3 notes, and the right hand will play 3. So group them that way. It’s mainly beats 1 and 2 of each measure that need to be corrected.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Dr. Carrol McLaughlin #215769

    Oh my God! I didn’t know about this. I’m really in shock. I have a photo here taken at a masterclass in 1967 at Hartt College in Hartford Connecticut. It is a group photo of the people who attended, and a 14 or 15 year old Carrol is in the group. She was a small pudgy girl with heavy black glasses framing her eyes, and she could play like a virtuoso even then. So sad to hear about this.

    I managed to attach the photo. That’s Vera Dulova seated at the harp. Hans Zingel is next to her, and Aristid Von Wurtzler next to him. Carrol is directly behind Von Wurtzler.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  carl-swanson.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  carl-swanson.
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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Harp composition competitions #215442

    Catherine- I do think the problem is two pronged. The first is asking composers to write for an instrument that they truly do not understand. Many of them now use a keyboard with a “harp button” and think that if it works there, it will work on a real harp. The other problem-and this is true of many artistic disciplines- is having other composers(academics) judge these competitions, and the results are always disastrous. You can see the same thing in architecture, where the competitions for a new building design are judged by a panel of archetects. Same in theater. Competitions for new plays are judged by academics, with equally disastrous results. If you look at the history of Broadway, both with musicals and drama, not one great work ever won an academic competition. For some reason, the 20th century turned over control of the arts to academia, with horrible results!


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Harp composition competitions #215430

    I want to add here another problem with composition competitions, and that is that most of the time these competitions are judged by academics: other composers, composition teachers, etc. That is the worst way to assess new compositions. There is a looooooooong history of academics getting it wrong. The judging should be left to the audience!!!


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Stretch strings for the weekend #215421

    New nylon strings stretch, and stretch, and stretch… If I’m replacing one nylon string, I’ll tune it up a major third to try to stretch it out quicker. But I wouldn’t do that with more than one string at a time. Both nylon and gut strings want to go back to wherever they were when you tune them. So if you tune a nylon or gut string down from where it was, it will drift up. If you’re tuning it up from where it was, it will drift down.

    Are you sure you are using the correct gauge strings on this harp? Some non-pedal harps are built to use pedal harp strings, and they have more or less pedal harp tension. The Lyon & Healy troub and my own Swanson lever harp are built that way. Other non-pedal harps are built much lighter and take a much thinner string. From what you’ve written so far, I’m not sure you have a clear understanding of this, or what gauge strings the harp was built for. Why are you improvising with the strings anyway. Just buy what the instrument requires.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Stairs #214866

    Having to move a harp up or down a set of stairs is one of the unavoidable downsides of playing the instrument. In a living situation, where you are going to have to do this on a regular basis, it gets really old really fast. Keep looking for someplace to live, and at the top of your list of requirements is: no more that 5 stairs tops to get in or out of the apartment or house.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: BB 5th Octave A #214826

    One of the things you want to watch out for is ordering strings, holding them for a year or more, and then having them break. I know of one company whose policy is that if you don’t contact them about new strings breaking within 2 weeks of the order being shipped, then they won’t do anything. So many harpists keep strings for a year or more before using them. So don’t order more strings than you can use fairly quickly.

    I had bought my strings from the Harp Connection, and had driven there to get them. When the strings broke, I called them and they mailed me the replacements at no extra charge.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: BB 5th Octave A #214798

    I had a couple of Bow Brand strings break as I pulled them up to pitch the first time. But that was more than a year ago. I had gotten them from the Harp Connection, and they replaced them right away. Maybe what Lyon & Healy sent you was something left over from the problem period.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: PEDAL MARKINGS #214531

    Janis- I think it depends on what you are arranging. If it’s jazz or pop music, then my understanding is that the player basically keeps the pedals in the key that the piece is written in. Accidentals are moved when needed, and as soon as it’s over, that pedal goes back into the home key. So jazz and pop players are used to moving a lot of pedals on one beat, then moving them back again. So I think for them, chords need to be spelled correctly. For classical players, the pedals are carefully worked out in advance, and on a harmonically complicated piece, the pedals are never in a key. The classical players want to see what strings to put their fingers on. So if you are in the key of B♭ for example, and you have to play a note A#, then they want to see the note spelled A#.

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