How to write for harp

Let the Harp Sound! p.19 (more info here)

I.2. How to write for harp

As I reviewed the literature on how to write for the harp, including books on orchestration that are often used to educate composers, I found that Writing for the Pedal Harp: A Standardized Manual for Harpists and Composers by Ruth Inglefield and Lou Ann Neill was the most relevant resource for this project. It presents updated references to harp repertoire and an extensive introduction to both conventional and unconventional playing techniques, with a very helpful focus on the practical execution of those techniques. Recently, the harpist Gunnhildur Einarsdóttir added her Ph.D. dissertation on how to write for the harp to a website hosted by the Sibelius Academy; it also relies upon Writing for the Pedal Harp as a starting point. Other helpful books include John Marson’s The Complete Guide to Harp Glissandi and Beatrice Schroeder Rose’s The Harp in the Orchestra. I highly recommend that any composer writing for the harp consult a specialized and thorough source (book or website) on how to do so. In my research I have read orchestration literature by, among others, Elaine Gould, Samuel Adler, and Kurt Stone, but their sections on the harp are very limited—to successfully present the harp in only a few pages is simply not possible.