P5 - B3

Finger articulation, placing and extended techniques

  • Maintain a natural finger articulation within more challenging passages and adjust position accordingly to maintain clarity
  • Join placed passages with clarity and fluency at a greater variety of tempi
  • Play a variety of chordal passages (non-rolled, rolled, brisée) with ease.  Roll chords with a rhythmic and tonal evenness
  • Play, at a steady pulse, a wide variety of complex rhythmic passages, including cross rhythms between the hands, with clarity and control
  • Play rhythmically, with clarity, control and fluency, arpeggiated passages over the entire range of the harp, passing between the hands at a large variety of tempi
  • Observe and adhere to chosen fingering, particularly in technically challenging passages
  • Play three-note harmonics in the left hand.
  • Play steady bisbigliandi at a variety of tempi with fluency
  • For pedal harp, play pedal slides with rhythmic accuracy and clarity of sound

Demonstrate scales played a third and a tenth apart, ensuring complete coordination between the hands and an even tone throughout.

Encourage learners to practise all scales, arpeggios and dominant/diminished 7ths in various rhythms, e.g. dotted, triplets, etc.

Set daily exercises to challenge, develop and encourage independence of finger movement and complete coordination, e.g. Exercises and Études Op. 9 by Lariviere, Conditioning Exercises by Salzedo.

Begin with the easier of these exercises e.g. Lariviere No.2 (1–26) until fingers build more independence.

Demonstrate how to begin narrow position (arpeggio and dominant 7ths) practice as chords, placing all four fingers in a group and replacing the hand carefully without compromising the clarity. When playing the arpeggiated notes, ensure a completely even sound, both in terms of rhythm and tone, and discuss how to keep the pattern going without buzzing.

Continue to encourage the full articulation of fingers into the hand without raising the wrist.

Encourage learners to develop an increasing awareness of the relationship between the choice of fingering and the specific sound it creates. Demonstrate how to maintain a specific sound quality by only using certain fingers. Play the same passage again with different fingers and discuss how this affects the sound.

Encourage learners to make these choices independently.

Assign passages with a more complex range of placing, emphasising the requirement for precision of sound and clarity, e.g. Shule Aroon arr. Robertson.

For pedal harp, suitable repertoire includes Bach/Grandjany Etudes Nos. 1 and 8.

Assign passages/repertoire that require further practise of more complex rhythms and cross-rhythms, e.g. Milonga Para Amar by Ortiz.

For pedal harp, suitable repertoire includes Au Matin by Tournier.

Continue exploring the rolling of chords with greater independence within each hand, e.g. rolling/brisée in one hand only with the other hand playing non-rolled.

Demonstrate the bisbigliando. Emphasise the importance of a fluid, relaxed wrist with upright thumb bending when pressing on the string. Aim to develop an even sound that is completely fluid. Practise in various rhythms, at various tempi (beginning slowly) and with a variety of dynamics.

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