Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to Change the Pitch of a Harp

Lever harps use a simple foot pedal system to change the pitch of all the strings on the harp. By using your feet, you can create any pitch you like. However, changing the pitch of one note on an orchestral harp with levers will change the pitch of all of the connected pitches on the harp. For instance, you can't have a C and a C-sharp on the same set of strings. By changing the C string, all of the notes with C as a pitch will be changed as well.

Step 1

Locate the seven pedals on the bottom of the harp. When the pedals are in the middle position, they play a natural pitch; when they are in the highest position, they play flats and the lowest position will play sharps.

Step 2

Learn the names of the pedals from left to right. The three pedals on the left side control the pitches D, C and B. The four pedals on the right control the pitches E, F, G and A.

Step 3

Adjust the pedal that corresponds to the pitch you wish to change. To play an E-sharp, adjust the corresponding pedal to the lowest position by pushing down with your foot. To play E, make sure the pedal is in the middle position. To play E-sharp, use the toe of your foot to push the pedal to the top position.

Celtic harps often only have a single pedal that will adjust all of the strings up or down. It is not possible on a Celtic or folk harp to change individual pitches.