by Professor Alan Belkin

Lesson 1 - Transcribing a Piano Accompaniment

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score

Comments from Professor Belkin on Example No. 1B:
When most people think of orchestral strings, they don't think of the harp, but the harp is in fact a string instrument, and should be considered a relative of plucked (pizzicato) strings. The harp is a possible accompaniment for the oboe here.

However, there are several drawbacks:
  • the harp is less resonant than the piano (when the piano is played with pedal).
  • the harp is not at ease in very chromatic harmony: the numerous pedal changes become awkward, or even impossible, when there is too much chromaticism. (Of course a virtual harp, like the one in GPO, does not have this problem!)
  • being a somewhat special orchestral color, it is best not overused.

The next lesson will be posted soon.

©Alan Belkin, 2006