Five virtuoso harpists as composers: Their contributions to the technique and literature of the harp
AuthorHouser, Kimberly Ann
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe composition of new music for the harp has largely been pursued by performing harpists who have taken up the art of composition to fill a need for new music written with the needs and possibilities of the instrument in mind. In the process of doing this the figures discussed in this paper not only left the harp repertory greatly enriched but they have also created separate technical schools of harp playing based on their teachings and their music. They also influenced other composers of their time to write for the harp and generated an interest in the harp as a performance instrument. The five harpist/composers discussed in this document are Elias Parish Alvars, Henriette Renie, Marcel Tournier, Marcel Grandjany, and Carlos Salzedo. The different technical schools generated by the five persons discussed has lead to a focus on how their ways of approaching the instrument differ. This document attempts to show how they are all interconnected, with each building on ideas put forth by others. In looking at the technical schools and repertory in this way in can be seen that there are a great amount of ideas for the modern harpist to draw on as a performer, regardless of the individual's initial training. The composer may also find this subject useful as there is a great deal of discussion of how the harp works as an instrument and how best to use it compositionally.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Music and Dance