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Notating Music for Harp in Sibelius is a book describing how to create pedal and lever harp notation in Sibelius. It includes information on using the Norfolk Harp Std font, which contains pedal harp notation symbols used in Salzedo’s Modern Study of the Harp.
This page also includes some Sibelius scores for using the Norfolk Harp Std font, including:
- Harp Techniques Opus Norfolk Harp, a score containing additional copyable symbols, text objects, and lines that use characters in the Norfolk Harp Std font.
- Opus Norfolk Harp, a score that can be exported as Manuscript Paper to create new scores that include characters in the Norfolk Harp Std font.
- Examples of Pedal Harp Techniques, a score used to create examples in the document.
These scores are available in Sibelius 5, 6, and 7 format. Use the Sibelius 7 format files for all Sibelius version after version 7.
If you are not interested in the pedal harp symbols in Norfolk Harp Std you will not need these files.
These files were last updated on April 11, 2019. They are not likely to need to be updated in the future.
The Norfolk Harp Std font
To use any of the example scores offered on this page, you will first need to install the free Norfolk Harp Std font. It is distributed as part of the Norfolk font set. You can read about Norfolk Harp Std in the Scoring Notes blog, and here is a link for downloading and installing the Norfolk fonts. This is discussed in more detail in Notating Music for Harp In Sibelius in the section Fonts and Other Support Files.
The harp is an unusual instrument to write for and to notate. It is very easy to write music that is unplayable on a harp, and there are a number of books and articles that discuss how to compose effectively for a harp. I list some of these in the References section in Appendix 1.
This book will discuss tools and procedures available for notating harp music in the notation program Sibelius. The principles, if not the details, can be applied to working with other notation programs. It is not a tutorial on using Sibelius, and assumes you are familiar with the program. It is also not a tutorial on how harp music should be notated, but simply explains how to accomplish harp-specific notation in Sibelius.
I find that notation is pretty hard to do right, and a roadmap is helpful. My favorite reference book on music notation, including harp notation, is Elaine Gould’s Behind Bars. It is expensive (around $70 USD) but it is thorough and clear and well organized, with a great index, and it covers as close to everything as any book ever has. Essential Dictionary of Music Notation by Linda Lusk is much less expensive, and still provides good information, though nothing specifically on harp notation.
I will assume that you are using the “full” version of Sibelius 5 or later, and preferably Sibelius 6 or later, since some tools, including most of the plug-ins, are only available in Sibelius 6 or later. If you use Sibelius First, some of the techniques discussed will work, but many, like the plug-ins discussed, will not.
— Bob Zawalich
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