|Listen to a recording of Harpy Ever After by Stephen Dunstone.
MUSIC SAMPLE - View Three Representative Pages from Harpy Ever After
Suitable For : Lever / Pedal Harp
Genre : Contemporary Harp Ensemble
Ability Level : Easy - Intermediate
Format : PDF as a Zipped File Download
Harpy Ever After
This is a jazzy ensemble with up to six different parts of varying difficulty, built on a repeating
twelve-bar blues sequence. Each part (or "motif") is therefore only twelve bars long, but recurs
regularly throughout the piece. Individual players may want to stay with one motif, or may want to
play several during the course of the piece, depending on inclination and skill, so instead of
prescriptively allocating a varied selection of motifs to a number of players, I have laid out the
score according to those six different motifs.
The Complete Set of score and parts includes individual pages for each motif, with clear
instructions as to which of the eight "verses" it needs to be played in. It also includes an "All
Motifs" part so that the more ambitious players can play several, changing from verse to verse. The
final page of the "All Motifs" part includes an at-a-glance table that shows which motifs should be
used in which verses.
As long as the balance between the parts is maintained, players can switch between motifs as the
overseer of the group (or a democratic process) sees fit. And if you haven't got enough players to
cope with all the motifs, leave something out - just experiment to see what works for you.
The six motifs are:-
A: "First Tune"
B: "Chord Harmony"
C: "Chromatic Melody"
D: "Walking Bass"
E: "Funky Tune"
I've said that they're all simply a variously repeating twelve-bar motif, but in fact motif F
("Supergroove"), which appears in verses 5, 6, 7 and 8, has different material in each of those four
verses. I'm assuming that the most advanced players will be the Supergroovers: they will have to
be fairly nifty with lever or pedal slides (NB the crucial expression is "nifty" rather than
"staggeringly virtuosic" as the part isn't that difficult...).
Lever or pedal changes are necessary during playing in all except the "First Tune" and the "Funky
Tune" (and the "Chord Harmony" if the alternative chord is used in the 12th bar), and will be
variously required for anyone switching to another motif between verses. Lever or pedal slides are
only required in the "Chromatic Melody" and "Supergroove".
A few other points:-
None of the motifs is played in verse 5 except "Supergroove": all the other players in that verse
provide punchy chords between the melodic phrases of the Supergroovers. Pages 5 and 6 of the
"All Motifs" part includes a selection of possibilities for these punchy interjections.
It is essential that the quavers are swung throughout, i.e. iq = q e despite being notated evenly
for clarity's sake.
There are two additional final bars in which the quavers (played by the Supergroovers) are straight.