If you are new to writing for the harp, then you can get some good guidance here. Composing for the harp is not that difficult if you know the right steps to do so. Here are some things you should know.
The strings of the harp are the white notes on the piano; the red strings are C, and the black strings are F. These strings are made from the gut, and the lowest strings are made from wire. The tuning of the lowest strings, C and D, must be fixed.
There are 7 pedals in a harp, and each pedal consists of 3 positions for making the notes natural and sharp. If you put the C pedal in the top position, then all the Cs will be flat.
If it’s in the middle, then the other ones will be natural, and if it is at the bottom, then the C strings will sound like C sharps. The harpists can easily change the pedal’s position while playing. They can also change two pedals simultaneously.
Once you set the pedals in position, you can put your fingers on the strings to play fast scale. You can play a normal glissando, a double, or a triple that is played with both hands. The interval between the double glissandi notes should not be big; otherwise, it will be hard to play.
Making Special Effects
You can use the pedals to make special effects like sliding between a semi-tone. Pedal buzz is a loud sound effect that you can make. In this case, the string vibrates against the pins and creates such a loud buzz.
By keeping these in mind while composing harp, you can create some great music. Knowing these important concepts is important for a composer to create harp music.