Ep. 246 – Memorizing music – from frowned upon to required! A history of memorization in classical music.

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I played a concerto this summer and used sheet music rather than playing it from memory. In this Harp Tuesday episode I talk about why. I also look at the history of memorization in classical music and how it went from something that generally wasn’t done to being the norm in many cases.

I based a lot of this video on this article by Jennifer Mishra – well worth reading!

I enjoyed this NY Time article: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/01/arts/music/memorizations-loosening-hold-on-concert-tradition.html

And on the flip side, an excellent article about an orchestra performing from memory: https://www.kingsplace.co.uk/magazine/features/dance-music-time/

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Ep. 244 – Harp Review! My thoughts on my Harp-E.

The harp-e is an intriguing electric harp design. I couldn’t resist buying one and having been using it as I travel through Europe. Here’s my review/impressions of the harp so far – hope you find it useful/interesting.

I also did an episode interview the designer of the harp-e during the World Harp Congress: https://youtu.be/XlTTmlffmj4

And an episode on the process of assembling my harp from a kit: https://youtu.be/s8LfeKqB6sU

More on harp-e at https://www.harp-e.com/

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

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Ep. 243 – Four tips for using forScore (iPad+sheet music).

I use the app forScore when reading music on my iPad (and I love it). Here are four things I’ve discovered over the years that I thought were worth sharing!

1. Save sheet music in a cloud service first, then download it from the cloud service into forScore for extra backup/redundancy. (Here’s how to backup your forScore data that is on your iPad, something else you should do regularly! https://forscore.co/kb/backing-up/ )

2. Single tap to turn pages, rather than a swipe. Some pluses and minuses to this, I think, but to my mind it’s the fastest and most efficient way to turn pages. Set this in the “gestures” options under settings.

3. Make use of the multi-finger gestures. I have a two-fingered tap set to do a half-page turn, a great timesaver if I’m in full page turn mode but want to see both the end of the current page and the start of the next page. I also like the (default) option of a single finger long press to enter edit/annotation mode. Set this in the “gestures” options under settings.

4. Using bookmarks to “extract” a portion of a many-paged pdf file. You can use the bookmark tool to make it easy to navigate to certain areas of a book or long pdf. In addition, once you’ve tapped on a bookmark, you can go to “rearrange” and have the option to save just those bookmarked pages as a separate pdf!

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

More episode featuring forScore and using a tablet for sheet music: https://www.harptuesday.com/category/forscore-ipad/

Ep. 242 – Building an electric harp (Harp-E)

I purchased and built an electric harp from a kit! Here’s my experience building it – look for a full review soon.

The harp is a “harp-e”, available at https://www.harp-e.com/collections/for-individuals I did an interview with the designer of harp-e, Joris Beets, that got me interested in buying one (filmed at the World Harp Congress in Wales): https://youtu.be/XlTTmlffmj4

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 241 – An affordable, self-assembled, electric harp? A look at Harp-E

Joris Beets was kind enough to take some time to chat with me at the World Harp Congress about his newest invention – Harp-E!

Lots more info about this harp at https://www.harp-e.com/ And the Harp-E channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEPCNakbK2x_c1FC2NAFheg

Hope you enjoyed this on location video about a very cool harp! Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 240 – Musician’s Earplugs – do they work? Which ones should you get?

As a musician, protecting our hearing is rather important! Depending on your situation you may want to investigate musician’s earplugs, which attempt to “turn down” the sound level, while still maintaining the clarity and fidelity of the sound.

They tend to work pretty well, and what you’re looking for is then a question of fit. If you can find an “off the shelf” set that fit snugly and comfortably for your ear, that’s perfect! The etymotic er-20s I mention in the video cost only about $20, for example.

You may find that for a good fit and a comfort level that allows you to wear them for hours on end you need a custom set, molded to the specific shape of your ear canal. These can generally be purchased at your local ear and hearing specialists, and might range from $150-300. Expensive, but potentially well worth it!

Here’s an article (via google search) from 2014 that I thought offers a decent overview on musician’s earplugs: https://hearingreview.com/hearing-products/accessories/earmolds/high-notes-musicians-earplugs

And the US CDC page on volume levels and preventing hearing loss: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hearing_loss/what_noises_cause_hearing_loss.html

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 236 – creating a harp cart out of a golf cart

Harp carts can be expensive and hard to find – in this episode I show how I’ve been able to use a cheap golf cart as a pretty decent harp cart!

Re-purposing stuff is always fun – in this case I didn’t really have to do anything, just taped on some plastic padding and added a couple bungie cords.

Of course, golf carts aren’t designed for harps, so use this idea at your own risk, but it’s worked out very well for me!

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 233 – Being open-minded: finding better solutions when playing music (featuring Jardin Mouillé)

I believe it always pays to keep an open mind – even when playing a piece of music you know extremely well. There’s always a chance there might be an even better way of doing something!

This happened recently to me in a short section from a piece on which I’m working (Jaques de la Presle’s “Jardin Mouillé”). In this episode I demonstrate both my new and old approaches, as well as talking more generally about the benefits of keeping an open mind and cultivating an ability to change the way you play something!

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible – if you would like to help support future videos you can become a patron at https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 229 – Refining and shaping a piece of music (featuring Le Jardin Mouillé)

Recording yourself and listening back is such a powerful way to help polish and refine a piece. In this episode I look at a small section from Presle’s “Jardin Mouillé” that I want to try and improve.

I’ve done two other episodes on the process of learning Jardin Mouillé – https://www.harptuesday.com/ep217/

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 227 – Composing a harp duet

For the final Harp Tuesday episode of 2021, I start composing, on camera, a new harp duet. If you like this type of episode, be sure to check on my videos on composing “Uncharted Shores” and “Fantasy on Greensleeves” plus arranging “The Skye Boat Song“.

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Get free sheet music and stay up-to-date on what I’m doing by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 215 – How many strings should you get when buying a pedal harp?

How big a pedal harp do you need? In response to a viewer’s question, I thought I’d offer a few thoughts on whether to get a full-sized pedal harp or something smaller. (Answer – it depends!)

I use the Virginia Harp Center’s website as a handy reference for current US prices for Lyon and Healy, Salvi, and Camac: https://www.vaharpcenter.com/

I mention Tyrolean single-action harps as an interesting option for some people. Here’s a harp maker’s website: http://www.muernseer.at/en/harp/

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Stay up-to-date on my activities by signing up to my email newsletter at http://eepurl.com/nBSlz

Ep. 209 – How to create a virtual duet with DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is a free and extremely powerful video editing program. In this episode I show you how you can use it to create a virtual duet, trio, quartet or more, where you play all the parts!

Download Resolve at https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Ep. 202 – Testing forScore’s “Face Gestures” to turn pages

In this episode I take a look at the “Face Gestures” that forScore pro offers and explain why the gestures, as well as the motion based page turns via AirPod Pros (I haven’t tested them, since I don’t own AirPods, but the motion turns are available to all forScore users) are not something I’m interested in using – fun to test, but not a usable option from my point of view!

I love the forScore app for organizing, reading, and marking music: https://forscore.co/ (not sponsored!)

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Ep. 200 – How I did I get started playing the harp? My harp origin story

Happy Birthday, Harp Tuesday!

This episode is special not only because it’s episode 200, but also because Harp Tuesday turns 10 years old today! Ten years ago on Dec. 1, 2010, I uploaded the very first episode of Harp Tuesday. (https://www.harptuesday.com/ep1/)

Support from my patrons has been invaluable over these past few years. You can become my patron and support the work I do on YouTube at: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

Ep. 198 – What iPad should you get for reading music?

Are you thinking using an iPad for reading sheet music? In this episode I try to answer the question of which iPad you should get! I also give a review of my experience upgrading this year from an iPad Air 2, to a 12.9 inch iPad Pro, as well as using the Apple Pencil.

As far as using an iPad for reading music, the short answer is that any of the current iPad offerings (iPad 8th Gen, iPad Air 4th gen, or iPad Pro) are easily capable of doing so. The question comes down to screen size – if you want the 12.9 inch size (so nice!) you’re forced to get an iPad Pro. If you think you’ll be fine with the smaller screen size, then the iPad 8th Gen will be fine.

If you’re trying to figure out what screen size you want, here are three PDFs I created. One shows the dimensions of the current set of iPads (as well as my old iPad Air 2), the other two show what a piece of music would look like, on the 12.9 and 10.2 size, respectively. (The music is my freely available arrangement of a Bach cantata – https://www.harptuesday.com/jesu/ )

Comparison chart: https://www.joshlayne.com/iPadScreenSizes.pdf
Bach 10.2 (base iPad) https://www.joshlayne.com/iPad8thgenBachExample.pdf
Bach 12.9 (iPad Pro) https://www.joshlayne.com/iPad12BachExample.pdf

I love the forScore app for organizing, reading, and marking music: https://forscore.co/

iPad benchmark info: https://browser.geekbench.com/ios_devices/11

Support from my patrons helped make this video possible: https://www.patreon.com/joshlayne

A couple of previous episode on iPads and sheet music:

Ep. 113 Sheet music on tablets (forScore/iPad)

Ep. 152 – Half Page Turns with forScore on the iPad

Ep. 186 – What is musical phrasing?

A look at one of the most important part of music – phrasing, or the space between the notes! In this episode I analyze three different recordings of a bar from Chopin’s Nocturne, Op. 9 No. 2 to try to make clear what I mean when I’m talking about phrasing.

This episode is a followup to a couple of recent blog posts about listening.
Part 1 https://www.joshlayne.com/blog/focused-listening-part-one/
Part 2 https://www.joshlayne.com/blog/listeningpart2/

Ep. 182 – How to teach Skype music lessons

I’ve been teaching harp lessons via Skype for almost 10 years and I love the convenience and the ability to work with people all over the world. I’ve been planning to do an episode at some point talking about how Skype/Zoom/Facetime lessons work and some of the differences between them and in-person lessons. Current events pushed this video to the front of my to-do list!

I hope that it contains at least some useful and helpful information for those of you just starting to teach or take music lessons online.

Ep. 153 – Using a felt pick for glisses


Need to play a bunch of glisses and want to save your fingers? A hard felt pick might be just what you need 🙂 In this short episode of Harp Tuesday I demonstrate what a glissando with a pick sounds like.

I’m using these Ukulele picks from Amazon – 3 for $3: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005A09I7Q/ (not an affiliate link) but I believe any hard felt guitar or ukulele pick should work!

 

 

Ep. 152 – Half Page Turns with forScore on the iPad

I’ve found half page turns to be a super useful thing when working with an iPad and digital sheet music. It helps allow you to do both pedal changes and bluetooth foot pedal page turns, as well as reading “across” the page when practicing.

I’m using the forScore app for iOS – I highly recommend it as a way to view and manage sheet music on an iPad. https://forscore.co/

I did a longer episode talking about my experience using an iPad in place of paper music: https://www.harptuesday.com/ep-113-sheet-music-on-tablets-forscoreipad/

Ep. 148 – How to improvise on the harp: two suggestions


Happy 2019 everyone! I’m busy finishing my annual New Year’s Improv video, and I thought what better subject for today’s Harp Tuesday episode than a look at improvisation. I offer two concrete ideas to spark your creativity and get you improvising in 2019 🙂

You might also enjoy episode 70

And here’s a playlist of my various improv videos

Ep 137 Composing for the harp – pedal markings and pedal charts

In this composer-centric episode I talk about pedal change, pedal markings, and pedal charts. As a composer, should you include these in your scores/parts? Answer – it depends 🙂

Hopefully helpful and interesting to composers and non-composers alike! Questions? Email me at info@joshlayne.com

I use my arrangement of Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring as one of my examples – find the sheet music here.

Ep 134 Adapting Tournier’s “Noel” for lever harp

A real-time look at adapting for lever harp the first of six “Noels” by Marcel Tournier. Tournier wrote these for pedal harp, and there’s a certain amount of modulation going on in this Noel. Still, having played through it a couple times I’m hopeful that I can adapt it for lever harp – join me for the journey and lets see if it works out! 🙂

Ep. 119 Software – the gear behind Harp Tuesday part 3

In this episode I complete my look at the gear I use to create Harp Tuesday and music videos, etc.

This episode looks at some of the software I use.

Here’s a list of not only the software I talk about in the episode, but also other tools I’ve used:

Reaper.   Fantastic audio editor that also functions as a pretty good video editor. Just recently discovered that it has more video editing capabilities than I was aware of and I’m super happy about that! I love it as an audio editing program and am now using it as my main video editing program. These two videos were both created in Reaper, for example:


Try out the complete program for free for 60 days, and it’s just $60 for a personal license. Highly recommended!

The rest of these programs are either free or have a free version:

Open Broadcast Software (OBS).  Steaming/capture software that lets you record your screen if you want to display sheet music + video, for example (such as this episode):

Of course, you can also use it for livestreams!

Lightworks. Professional quality video editor. Free (basic) version only lets you export at a max of 1280 x 720. Steep learning curve and not particularly intuitive, but very powerful.

Since it’s free, potentially worth checking out. I have used it for various music videos over the years:


DaVinci Resolve. There is a free version available (scroll to bottom). I’ve played around with it a tiny bit, but wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle the learning curve given that I all ready know how to use Lightworks (to some extent!) and now I’m very happy with Reaper. Still, if I end up wanting to do some greenscreen videos, for example, I may revisit Resolve.

Handbrake. Open source (free) video conversion tool, can be handy to have around.

VirtualDub. Free tool for encoding/some editing.

FFmpeg library – many other programs make use of this library, can also access it from the command prompt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ep. 116 Recording Equipment – the gear behind Harp Tuesday part 2

In this second of three Harp Tuesday episodes I talk about the gear I use to create Harp Tuesday videos and offer some thoughts and suggestions for those looking to record their own videos.

This episode is about recording equipment. I use a Royer SF12 ribbon mic and an AEA “TRP” preamp for most of my recordings. I also have a Zoom H5 for easy on location recording.

Ep. 115 Cameras – the gear behind Harp Tuesday part 1

In this first of three Harp Tuesday episodes I talk about the gear I use to create Harp Tuesday videos and offer some thoughts and suggestions for those looking to record their own videos.

This episode is about cameras. I currently record with a Canon T4i and Canon 18-135 STM lens. The Canon Rebel/Ti series are solid cameras, with the ability to connect a mic via a 3.5 mm input and an articulating screen, both essential features as far as I’m concerned. I’m currently eyeing the Panasonic GH5…

Ep. 114 A new Harp + improv!

In this special episode of Harp Tuesday I’m very excited to show off my new Excalibur lever harp! (Made by Camac Harps and purchased from the Virginia Harp Center). It’s a super fun harp to play – I do some live improv to give you a chance to hear how it sounds!

Will be doing a lot more videos featuring this harp on locations around beautiful Victoria, BC.

The Virginia Harp Center can be found at https://www.vaharpcenter.com/

Camac Harps: https://www.camac-harps.com

Ep. 113 Sheet music on tablets (forScore/iPad)

In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about my experience using the forScore app on an iPad air in place of physical sheet music. (I’ve found it very useful).

ForScore

The Donner foot pedal I’m using

I mentioned three places to find free, public domain music online:

The International Harp Archives at Brigham Young University

IMSLP

And for traditional music – The Session

Ep. 111 Exploring electric harps part 1

In this episode of Harp Tuesday I talk about and demonstrate the “Firefly 2” electric harp I bought last year from Wickford Harps / Dick Ranlet as well as talk about electric harps in general.

I will be doing a follow-up episode demonstrating using a looper pedal – if you have any questions you’d like answered let me know!

Video where Dick Ranlet demonstrates his two part harp system –

Ep. 100! A guide to buying a harp

Welcome to the 100th episode of Harp Tuesday! 100 is a big number and I feel proud to have reached it! 🙂 Thanks to all of you who watch and comments on my videos – you’re the reason I’ve made it to #100!

In this episode I offer some thoughts and advice on buying a harp, with an emphasis on advice for someone looking to buy their very first harp.

I hope this is helpful, and thanks for watching!

The complete episode is below, but I also split this episode into individual sections if there’s something specific you’re interested in.

1. Introduction https://youtu.be/lY2PVTGFb-A
2. General advice/synopsis https://youtu.be/znZ6D3Pyss0
3. Three categories of harps https://youtu.be/IINfg-emaQo
4. Celtic harps – how many strings? https://youtu.be/8m-vBBdJY7c
5. Celtic harps – do I need levers? https://youtu.be/OrqoGgxEc8I
6. Build quality and ergonomics https://youtu.be/JcdPXdPgG6k
7. Sound quality https://youtu.be/Q_hj0a-OvRQ
8. Strings – gut or nylon? https://youtu.be/P1xQUAT1mDw
9. Pedal harps https://youtu.be/9tz-M-EvqCQ
10. Other type of harps https://youtu.be/S87aHF79BiE

Ep. 91 Experimenting with phrasing in Grandjany’s “Rhapsodie”

In this episode I look at a very small section from Marcel Grandjany’s composition “Rhapsodie” and talk about and play around with different ways of phrasing it.

In many ways what it boils down to is first figuring out how you want it to sound (in your head) and then working on being able to play it that way on your instrument…