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River Right Rhumba by Laura Zaerr - PDF Download


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Notes from the Composer:

“River Right Rhumba” is a 5 and a half minute 9-page original work for solo lever or pedal harp.   (Learn how to play this piece in Sunita Staneslow’s studio at Harp Column Academy.)  This rhythmic study was inspired by a white-water kayaking trip on the North Umpqua River in Southern Oregon, where the best play waves are on the right side of the river, or River Right. (You may even hear the boat hitting rocks along the way as you play the knocking on the sound board section.) The three catchy repeating rhythmic patterns come directly from a West African drumming pattern from Guinea, the African Rhumba. A few quick lever changes are required. In fact, the piece is set up such that it is much easier on the lever harp than on the pedal harp, as half the harp has Bbs, the other half has B naturals, saving much pedaling. Basically in the key of C, we change some Bbs, and one F#.   I have used this piece with my advanced lever harp students with great success, and even wrote a trio arrangement for harp ensemble. The piece uses several techniques, including harmonics, pre de la table, and xylophone effect, where you press the fingertips of one hand at the base of the strings to dampen the sound as you pluck with the other hand.   Guaranteed to be a challenge, but worth it.

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