Balance of the Harp

In a real orchestral tutti, there’s hardly any chance for the harp to be heard. The only thing that might have a chance to cut through are quite strong and expansive glissandos, but any figuration etc. gets lost already in a mezzoforte tutti.

Most mockups by inexperienced composers mix the harp unrealistically loud. If you want the harp to be heard, tone down the rest of the arrangement. The harp can’t compete against more than a few woodwinds, soft strings and possibly a soft horn (section) where it sounds beautiful and justifies its use in the orchestra. But don’t try to put important and undoubled lines into the harp on louder passages.


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