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SM0153: Dutch Harp Music

Cover ImageDutch Harp Music
Mirella Vita



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Further Info


During my career spanning half a century, like all my fellow harpists I constantly had to grapple with the commonly held view that the harp has neither music nor history of its own.

Fortunately, over the years I have been able to give the lie to this myth and have tried to bring to light some of the vast repertoire, both early and modern, expressly com­posed for this instrument which has been treated somewhat as an outsider in the musical world.

The research work for my books on Italian and Swiss harp music was plain sailing because source materials were specific titles and title pages. Were Ito write books on French, German, Austrian, British, Bohemian, Spanish, Portuguese or Scandinavian harp music, the work involved would be equally smooth and straightforward.

However, where Dutch music is concerned, the approach is rather different, because here it is the painters, treatise writers and historians who provide the evidence and guidance necessary to discover the musical customs and traditions where the harp played a significant part.

Performers looking for pieces of music may use this book as follows: chapter II deals with treatises, chapter III with paintings, chapter IV with history and research accounts. Chapters V and VI are concerned with confusions in terminology. Chapter VII describes recent developments and chapters VIII and IX cover composers and pieces of music. Libraries and publishers are listed with their addresses in chapters X and XI, and finally chapter XII consists of the index based on the various groups of performers.

In this last chapter harpists will find the composers most suited to their programme, and can then turn to chapters VIII and IX for details. The actual pieces can be obtained by consulting chapters X and XI.

I wish you every success in your search, in your rehearsals and in your concerts!

In order to define what is Dutch or non-Dutch in early music, I have followed the current approach, i.e. all art and history prior to the separation of the “Seven Provinces” in the 16th century is the common heritage of the Low Countries, whereas every­thing pertaining to those courageous lands from then onwards is specifically Dutch.

Mirella Vita

Mirella Vita has been an orchestral, chamber and recital harpist. She began her career playing many transcriptions, according to the customary usage of the time based on the firm conviction that the harp had no valid music of its own. When she realized that there was a huge repertoire of harp music spanning many centuries, she began to seek out original music for her syllabuses. She soon became aware that the extent of the treasure she was unearthing was too great for her own personal requirements, and so she began systematically collecting historical data, names and biographies of composers, as well as names and addresses of publishers and libraries. To make full use of her files it would be necessary to publish a work of many volumes; but it is much clearer and more accessible to divide the vast amount of material according to the various countries and their cultures. This volume traces the history of the harp in one of the most important musical countries in the world, and also details Dutch composers and their music written for the harp.

Library Information

Title: Dutch Harp Music
Author: Mirella Vita
Language: English (Translated from Italian by Rita Connelly)
Binding: Paper back
Pages: 155
Size: 170 x 240 x 12 mm
Weight: 375g
Our Ref: SM0153
Publisher: Ut Orpheus Edizioni
Edition/Year: 2001
Origin: Italy

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