Hello my composer friends!
About a year ago, I initiated The Harp Legacy Project after years of coping with harp scores that were either just very awkward or impossible to perform. My mission is to assist composers in turning their harp pieces into viable and accessible works. Currently on my website is a growing list of ":before and after" pages that illustrate the results of my work and which are also tutorial for those who wish to venture forth into this domain. Of all the instruments, I believe the harp to be amongst the least understood by composers even after they read manuals. The fact that composers continue to write nightmarish harp scores is increasingly prompting harpists to resort to rewriting much of their music, compose new manuals, make the subject a major topic at conventions and even write books for harpists instructing them how to edit the scores that they receive. Below are two responses from other harpists pertaining to this topic:
Elizabeth Volpé-Bligh • Yes! There is a great book on this subject called The Harp In The Orchestra by Beatrice Schroeder Rose. I highly recommend it. It is a great reference book for teaching students to edit poorly-written parts. Conductors are generally aware of this problem and are delighted to have a harpist who is able to play their edited part well than to have someone thrashing through a thicket of impossible jumps, pedal changes, ten-note chords, etc.