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> INSTRUMENTOLOGY > STRINGS > Harp > Playing Techniques

Harp - Glissandos

A series of adjacent strings are sounded by the fingertips in one smooth movement. The number of different notes per octave that sound (between four and seven are possible) and which scale (major, minor, whole-tone scale, pentatonic scale) or chord (major seventh, minor seventh, diminished seventh) is determined by the position of the pedals.

Several glissando variations are possible:

Monophonic. The example below demonstrates a heptatonic glissando.

Polyphonic, chordal (up to 4, 5 notes per hand) Debussy, Ravel

Double glissando, with both hands in the same direction or moving toward each other (see example).

Glissando on one string with tuning wrench (a wrench used to retune the strings).