Harp pedaling caution to be aware of

The ‘calculate harp pedaling’ feature in Dorico 3 is absolutely amazing. Love this. It’s brilliant. Thank you a thousand times over for this.

I have, however, discovered a situation that is confusing Dorico with regard to harp pedaling, and I wanted inform users on the forum of this.

Check out the attached screen shot. What you’re looking at is the harp grand staff in my score. What you can’t see is a (off screen) key signature of D major, 2 sharps.

You’ll see Dorico has correctly calculated the pedal change for the C naturals, but when we get to the glissando a couple bars afterwards, Dorico is not noticing that the “C” must return to “C#” in order to play this gliss correctly (due to the key signature). It’s not a big deal of course, it’s easily correctable in the harp part. I just thought users on the forum should be aware of this.

I suspect the reason for this error is because there is no physical C# materially present in the bar, rather it is implied by the glissando line. Don’t know if this is something that can be corrected in a future maintenance update, but I thought I’d throw it out there for consideration. Thank you!
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My understanding is that that’s not how key signatures work, for harpists. A C natural will remain a C natural until you explicitly tell the harpist to nudge their C pedal to sharps.
I’m not surprised that Dorico makes this assumption. Fortunately, harp pedals diagrams are editable. If you add a harp pedal then double-click its signpost, you can replace the second hyphen with a v. Dorico will then correctly notate a C# and play back a C#.

Perhaps a harpist can chime in here. I always assumed the regular rules of notation applied for harp, i.e. accidentals are reset in accordance to the key signature each bar line. Anyway, my intent in this example was to remind the harpist to set C back to C# for this gliss., but Dorico didn’t recognize the gliss as containing a C#.

It’s great to know I can just click the sign post to edit them in the score as well. Thanks for this. I knew they were easily editable in the harp part.

“Regular notation” doesn’t really apply here, because the harp is almost unique in amount of control the player has over what notes are included a glissando.

Harpists are used to seeing poorly written parts, and if there are no pedal changes they will have to devise their own - which might lead to a question about what those few bars meant. But if there are what looks like a full set of pedal changes, and they are not “obviously wrong,” I would expect you would get what you wrote. From the harp part alone, there isn’t any obvious reason why the gliss should be a C#, after the previous C naturals.

Gould states that at any glissando, there should be a complete list of pedals (or diagram). This is probably why :wink:

Absolutely. And when a glissando on the final chord of a piece in C major produces the question “do you want F flats and B sharps” in rehearsal, that is also probably why :wink:

And with a combination of diagram editing and properties, this is certainly possible in Dorico Pro 3