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Study Early Harps
Private Lessons, Workshops & Masterclasses with Andrew Lawrence-King
online and in-person.
Download a free Continuo Poster here
Or contact us for a free high-resolution version.
Free download here: how to practise
Free download here: introduction to historical harp technique
There are many relevant videos on The Harp Consort's channel, here.
Free download here: introduction to Medieval harp
Renaissance ("Gothic", "Bray") Harp
Free download here: introduction to Renaissance harp
Italian Baroque triple harp arpa doppia
Free download here: introduction to Italian harp
A series of videos on historical technique for Italian harp starts here.
Free download here: introduction to Continuo
on Italian Baroque triple harp
Free download here: La Musica (Prologue to Monteverdi's Orfeo)
A series of videos about Continuo on Italian harp starts here.
Spanish Baroque double harp
Fantasia de Luduvico, Luz y norte
Free download here: introduction to Spanish harp
Free downloads from Luis Milán El Maestro:
Fantasia I here Fantasia X de consonancias y redobles here
Pavana I here
Anglo-Welsh triple harp
Free Download: Handel Harp Concerto original print, 1st movement here
2nd & 3rd movements here
French 18th-century 'single action' pedal harp
CPE Bach Sonata, Mozart Flute & Harp Concerto
The original MS score of the Mozart concerto is here.
Introduction to historical technique for Single Action harp here
Cousineau (1784) Méthode de Harpe here
If you are interested in 18th-century music, you'll want to be familiar with the three great mid-century treatises. They are written for three different instrument-types, but they broadly agree and it is easy to apply their advice to the harp or other instruments.
Leopold Mozart's 1756 treatise on the Violin has a lot of information relevant to Wolfgang Amadeus' Concerto. The German original is here, An English translation is here.
Make sure your flautist has studied Quantz's 1752 treatise on the Flute, and read it for yourself too, here. You'll find an English translation in a good music library, or on Amazon, here. There are two examples of how to play an Adagio: one shows how to vary the dynamics note by note, according to the intensity of dissonance/resolution; the other shows how to realise ornamentation, varying the dynamics note by note, even within each ornament.
CPE Bach's 1753 treatise on Keyboard instruments, extended in 1762 with a section on Continuo, is here. Your library should have an English translation, or find it on Amazon here.
Mary Oleskiewicz's essay on the CPE Bach Sonata discusses the work in the context of period instruments, the Italian triple harp, the French 'single-action' pedal harp, with some unexpected suggestions for performance options. Read it here. Ann Griffiths' article on the Sonata is here.
There is a wealth of detailed information about Ornamentation in the three great treatises and in late-18th-century Methods for harp. As a starting point, I've summarised all that information into Three Commandments.
1. Ornaments are on the beat (not before).
2. The auxiliary note is usually long
3. Most ornaments decrescendo
There are some ornaments that start fast (e.g. upward slides) contrary to my 2nd Commandment. Quantz and CPE Bach give complex dynamics for individual notes within ornaments (way beyond my 3rd Commandment). So treat these Commandments as a starting point, and go to the historical treatises for more detail.
18th-century Methods admit that trills are difficult on the harp (even more so, on high-tension modern harps). Don't try for too many iterations, rather concentrate on the Three Commandments.
Beat Wulf 's highly informative Single Action harp Timeline is here.
Irish harps (medieval/renaissance, 17th-century chromatic, 18th-century) Ancient Gaelic repertoire, Lawes Harp Consorts, Carolan
A series of videos on historical techniques for Irish harp starts here.
A series of videos on Irish ornaments starts here.
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