It has been all too often that I have encountered harp parts that were, at best, awkward and, at worst, impossible to perform. Major issues that are obstacles for composers involve the need for placing before pulling the strings, pedal markings, the creation of accessible structures, and the designing of notation that accurately depicts the interchanging use of the hands. After years of dealing with problematic parts, I initiated this project entitled The Harp Legacy Project. Via this venue, it is my mission to assist composers in the creation of notation that is comprehensible to harpists. www.theharplegacyproject.com
In order to accomplish this mission, I am offering my services as an editor/consultant to composers wishing to participate. In this capacity, I can contribute my skills and expertise to the benefit of both harpists and composers. Like the historical model of Les Six, the group of participating composers could generate a significant body of harp music for the present and next generations and significatnly contribute to the development of viable harp notation
After receiving a score, preferably in a pdf format, I will assess a fee and once agreed upon, I will commence with the editing process. Upon completion, I will email (or snail mail if the edit markings are not clear after scanning them into the computer) my comments back to the composer who then can make revisions. Any arising problematic issues can be dealt with via one or more phone conversations.
All of the scores that I edit will be donated to the Sousa Archives, University of Illinois, where my life and works are being preserved. Also, by agreement, hard copies will be placed in the music library under the umbrella of The Harp Legacy Project. This project has the potential of creating a direction for the present and future generations of composers interested in the development of creative harp notation that is accessible to harpists.
My experience with contemporary harp music is discussed in the following article:
SHIRLEY MEYER BLANKENSHIP: CONTEMPORARY HARP MUSIC:
COMPOSITIONAL ISSUES IN THE MUSIC OF:
RANDS, BRUN, BLANKENSHIP, MARTIN, HAKEN, BERG, BAXTER, ROUSE, JOLIVET
SPECIAL HARP NOTATION
This article is posted on my website along with testimonials, before and after pages where you can compare original scores with the edited versions along with commentary, and a list of compositions that are under the umbrella of The Harp Legacy Project.
TestimonialJuly 26, 2011
Earlier this month I contacted Shirley Meyer Blankenship to seek her advice and assistance with the harp part of a trio that I had recently written. Her expertise and knowledge of the harp was evident almost immediately when I spoke to her on the phone the first time. And within only a few short hours over a three or four day period, we were able to transform my piece into a truly delightful work of art - it went from good great. Her suggestions to alter and even rewrite portions of the part made it completely playable and viable for live performance without compromising the integrity of the work. I couldn't be happier with the outcome, and the feedback I've received on the piece since has been extraordinary. As a result, a premiere performance is in the works!
Bravo, Shirley! Thank you for the passion you have for your craft!
Timothy Lee Miller
Thank you for your kind attention!