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This project was conceived for social media when musicians first started using Instagram (and the videos could only be 15 seconds long). You can find 15 second harp on the social media links above. I am gradually adding all videos below.

Videos are organised by each composers' country/ state and by different harp techniques so you can find useful videos that might help with your own harp writing. 

15 seconds by Eli Parrish
July 2020

15 seconds by Eli Parrish

by Eli Parrish (from Georgia 🇺🇸) Thanks so much @eli.parrish6 for your miniature. Your email said: “This piece is entitled Zenosyne which is the feeling that time is moving faster and faster. It's a small transcription of a theme I've mapped out for a multimovement symphonic band piece about different emotions (called The Human Experience). I don't know much about the harp (much less ever written for it); however, I came across your page and thought it was such a cool opportunity for composers (especially young composers) that I couldn't miss it! I hope what I've written is in the scope of the harp, but if it's not or if I have strange notations, please forgive me!” It all worked well for harp, I just thought I would play around with the key as I noticed my top end was not sounding very resonant. The first take is with the piece in G flat major and the second is in G major as originally written. In G flat major the harp’s pedals are all in the top position so the strings can vibrate at their longest length making the instrument more resonant. When playing it made a big difference to my ears but I’m not sure how obvious it is in the video. Any way, hopefully it’s interesting for composers to compare the two, and at least you know from a harpist’s perspective that we like flat keys. I should also say that the tempo was a bit too ambitious. The repeated notes made it very hard, so hopefully you don’t mind this more relaxed speed. Thanks for sending Eli. Time is certainly feeling very different during lockdown, and not particularly zenosyne to me but thanks for teaching me a great new word. 😊
15 seconds by Brian Packham
July 2020

15 seconds by Brian Packham

15 second questions by Brian Packham (Wisconsin 🇺🇸) I was sent this extract by Brian last month with the following questions: “1. Is it realistically playable? 2. If so, how hard is it?” If you’re not a harpist you probably don’t know how much we do with our feet at the bottom of our instrument. There are 7 pedals: one for each note in the octave. From left to right these are D, C, B then E, F, G, A pedals. Each pedal has 3 notches. When a pedal is in the top notch all those pitch strings are flat, middle notch = natural, bottom notch = sharp. We essentially programme a key with our feet and away we go, except when we need to move through keys. In this extract there’s a combination of normal pedal moves and pedal slides (where you play the note once and just slide the pedal to hear two consecutive pitches). In answer to your questions, YES it is definitely realistically playable. It’s playable as both hands are being used to play one line so we have time to think about the feet. If you had more notes in the lower stave it would be harder. To answer how difficult it is is quite hard for me to judge, but if you are writing this for a professional harpist I would say it’s absolutely fine. If you would like students and amateurs to play it they probably wouldn’t agree. This recording was done on my first take so it’s not perfect but I thought it would be useful to hear what happens when the feet sort of “over slide” on a pedal slide. Another thing I’m aware of is that I’m playing it faster than your tempo marking, which would also make my foot life easier. Thanks for sending Brian. These kind of extracts are exactly why I started this project! P.s. yes I practice bare foot and not in harp shoes 🙈 I’m quite tall so never got used to playing with a heel.
15 seconds by Ben Crevels
July 2020

15 seconds by Ben Crevels

by Ben Crevels (Belgium 🇧🇪) Ben sent this extract as part of a piece for symphony orchestra he is writing with some questions: 1. Can you hear the resonance of the pedal changes? 2. How can you notate a spread chord to be played with the lowest note ON the beat? 3. How do you mark a short note you want to be damped immediately after? 4. Is it ok to write dynamics below lower stave to apply to both hands? I’ve written in red pen where I made the pedal change and as you’ll hopefully hear it is not audible. Composers understandably worry about pedal changes but we can do a lot more with our feet than most people think (as hopefully my previous post shows). Your second question raises an interesting point: harpists are normally trained to spread a chord so the top note is on the beat. The way you have notated it makes it very clear how you want it to sound. A neater way would be to draw a squiggly line (the normal spread chord line) and in a key / index indicate that you want the spread starting on the beat. Something I need to mention in this extract is that the 5 note spread chord can not be played smoothly as we only use 4 fingers on the harp so I had to jump to play the top note. I would recommend omitting the higher D so we can stretch from bottom to top note in one hand position. Thirdly, I have written in the damp symbol with red pen. It looks like a target. 🎯 Writing staccato as you have done is good to do too to indicate very short followed by the damp. Lastly, I assumed your dynamics were just for the left hand as they are currently written. Write dynamics in the middle of the two staves to apply to both hands. 👍Thanks for your questions Ben and best of luck with the full composition. 😊
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