|Modern study of the Harp Ref: UM1029|
Signs in usage and new signs for the method of writing for the harp, with musical texts and explicit explanations of interest to composers and orchestral conductors
Five Poetical Studies for harp alone, based on the recent harpistic discoveries:
I. On Scales. ("Flight")
II. On Arpeggios. ("Mirage")
III. On Grace-notes and Trills. ("Inquietude")
IV. On Double Notes, and Melodic Phrases in natural sounds and harmonics. ("Idyllic Poem")
V. On Chords. ("Communion")
These studies are not addressed solely to harpists, but to all who are interested in every musical manifestation. Composers and conductors alike will find in them information which will confirm their intuitions or solve their doubts, both with respect to the notation and the innumerable resources of the harp of to-day.
Regarding harpists, the aim of these studies is to offer them something of a decisively musical nature, by means of which they will accustom themselves to the different details of a mechanical order, to the art of phrasing, and to the multiple sonorities of their instrument.
These studies can be employed by novices as well as by virtuosi. Harpists of little experience will find in every measure something which will advantageously replace the contents of uninteresting and tiresome books of exercises. They must pay no attention to the metronomic signs, which are meant only for those who intend to play these works in public.
Individually, these studies are not restricted to the technical peculiarities suggested by their titles. Each one contains chords of various kinds and harmonic tones (double and single), so that one can develop several types of technique from the same study.
Musically, they will diminish the contempt with which fine musicians regard the harp; a comprehensible sentiment provoked by the quality of the music all too frequently written for this instrument.
Psychically, they will reveal new horizons to those who seek for pure artistic emotion.
Instrumentally, they will be instructive, because they are based on the recent discoveries made possible, largely, through the degree of perfection attained in the construction of harps in the last few years.
Technically, they will develop (in the same degree for both hands) a logical knowledge of fingering and of the various tone-effects.
Subjects heretofore so little understood as the "arpeggioing of chords," the mysterious problem of the "arrest of vibration" (i.e., "muffling"), the delicate use of the pedals, the "Aeolian Flux" (i.e., the glissando), "harmonics," etc., are thoroughly examined as to their essential nature.