carl-swanson

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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Which exercises to pick? #219039

    You might try my book, BOCHSA REVISITED, which is an updating of short 19th century etudes. They’re fun to play, and drill one aspect of technique at a time. They sound like real pieces and are not just repetitive exercises. The edition is published by Carl Fischer Music and is available at a lot of harp stores. It’s also available on my web site, http://www.swansonharp.com.


    Participant

    There’s a piece by Daniel Pinkham called COMPANY AT THE CRESCHE(SP?) which is scored for three part treble voices, handbells, and harp. The harp part could be doubled or divided up between 2 players. It consists of 6 or 7 short movements. If you don’t have handbells, it could be played on glockenspiel or celeste. The publisher would be E.C. Schirmer.

    • This reply was modified 6 days, 23 hours ago by  carl-swanson.

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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Wurlitzer at Estate Sale #218515

    Paul is right, the harp was extensively rebuilt, and most likely the wings were put on at that time. The harp is a small instrument, 44 or 45 strings probably. The decal on the soundboard and the 4 feet are all by Venus. So my guess is that Venus bought the instrument, rebuilt it, and sold it to the current owners. If you are thinking seriously of buying it, I would have a qualified technician look it over to make sure it is in good structural condition. If the harp is in good useable condition, and if you like the sound and want to buy it, in today’s (depressed) market, the value of this harp would be somewhere between $9,000 and $12,000.


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    carl-swanson on · in reply to: balls on the soundboard #218468

    Catherine- Just an added comment. The ones on very old harps were meant to look like ivory. They were never ivory, but were made of cellulose, a 19th century form of plastic. Cellulose was also used to make dice and billiard balls, among other things. The problem with it is that it is very unstable and deteriorates over time(a long time). So those “ivory pegs” and the old eyelets should never be reused when replacing the soundboard.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Strings on an Érard Empire #217800

    Orian- What country are you in? it must be someplace in Europe. I would suggest you contact one of the harp repair shops, particularly in England, and see what they recommend. Pilgrim Harps and Allan Harbour are two who come to mind. In Paris I would contact Le MAGASIN DE LA HARPE. They are all used to dealing with Erard harps, most of which are very old now. So special care has to be taken. It would be even better if you could take the harp to one of these places so they could examine it.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Opinion on a harp part #217585

    Yuk! What an awful looking part!! It will take a lot of work to rewrite this so that 1) the notes are spelled the way they have to be played on the harp, and 2) the notes are written showing which hand plays what. You should be paid for this. If whoever hired you squaks, tell them that you’re not charging them for practicing the piece, but rather for the necessary editing that the composer should have had done before the piece was published.


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Low C String #217185

    The only reason I can think of for extending the length of the soundboard would be to have some resonating area available for the last notes at either end of the board, i.e., C7 and G00. Why not add one string at the bottom(B7) and one string at the top(A00). Neither string would actually be played, but their presence would add more resonating soundboard above and below the two strings that would occasionally be played(C7 and G00).


    Participant
    carl-swanson on · in reply to: Low C String #217056

    7th octave C and D, which are the strings you are talking about, sit right on top of the main action, which is the three gears behind the front action plate, and which take the movement from the pedal rods and divide it between the natural and sharp chains. There is just no room to put linkage and discs for those two strings. But there really is another reason as well. Those last 5 strings on the instrument(6th octave G and F, and 7th octave E,D, and C) have quite a wide swing to them when they are played. They are capable of banging into the prongs of the sharp disc when in flat position, and capable of banging into each other if they are pulled too hard. I think that discs on those last two strings would have horrible problems with the strings banging the sharp disc prongs.


    Participant
    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.


    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.

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