Harp: A Comment--Not an Issue

It is certainly not a problem, but I find it very unusual that Harp is listed under pitched percussion. (I would have guessed Strings.)

I see others have commented on this.


It does become an issue when it messes with your system object positions, because those can still not be controlled in a, well, controlled way.

1 Like

Can you not change it in Instruments Editor or Score Order Editor?

Just to be clear, I was talking about where harp is found when I add a new player. For me, it shows up in (what I consider) correct score order.

So change it, and set it as a default.

I guess you’re saying there’s a way to change how instruments are grouped in Setup. It’s certainly not obvious how to do that or where that is in the manual. If something’s in the wrong place–and harp is clearly not a percussion instrument–it would make more sense for Dorico to change it once than for a thousand users to try figuring that out.

That said, I was only observing.

Hi @konradh in case you are interested to personalise the Dorico default Instrument Families and/or Score order, here an introduction video, and the Manual page and the referring text in the Version History for Dorico 5, at page 28):


If there are vocal staves, they will go between the strings and the harp, so it’s definitely not with the strings.

Elaine Gould says “Staves for keyboard, harp and plucked stringed instruments appear below percussion and above the strings.” (p.511)

@Christian_R and @benwiggy ,Thank you very much, but I’m afraid we have had a miscommunication. I am OK with the score order–although the info you provided is excellent. My post was about where the instrument is grouped in Setup (add player), not in score order.


Ah, yes I may not have quite understood, but it’s all part of the same thing: you should be able to change the “Family” in the Instrument Families Editor.

Add Harp to Strings; then remove it from Percussion.

I believe there is a school of thought that considers the piano a percussion instrument, as the strings are hit by hammers!

1 Like

@benwiggy , Thank you, sir. I can go either way on piano (percussion or strings), but calling harp percussion seems a bit odd to me. :slight_smile:

If one types Harp into the Setup search box, there is no trouble finding it.

1 Like

And (as a variation on the Thema) Vienna puts the Harp into Plucked Instruments:

1 Like

I have used VSL for a long time and I really like their products. “Plucked” makes sense to me.

As a notation product, Dorico needs to distinguish between fretted and non-fretted instruments; so a category plucked would be redundant for guitars, etc. just as fretted would be misleading for Harps.

1 Like

Oh! you played that John Cage piece also?