Lever harp indications

As a harpist, I am enjoying the new pedal indications-i appreciate the work and I have just finished a solo harp piece which looks fantastic!
I have asked about lever changes before and I have a specific question. I am indicating to a lever harpists where to change a lever by inputting a diamond shaped grace note on the stave.
My problem is if I put the grace note within the stave it all looks very crunched up and confusing. Is there a way of putting a treble note within the bass clef but having a treble clef sign before it? So the treble clef sign does not change the clef of the music but just relates to the grace note.

AFAIK, you cannot do this using “real” keys (that have the meaning of keys) in Dorico. But you could use the note editor to get a “fake” key at the right place

Keziah, could you possibly share an example of what you’re trying to accomplish? I’m having trouble precisely envisioning how this would work. As an aside, could you use a little ossia stave above or below the music with a treble clef and the diamond note?

Why don’t you use text as done also with regular pedal harp? If you want F#, put “F#” before the passage or note. Later you can cancel it with “F natural”.

Notesetter, unlike a pedal harp, each lever on a lever harp only affects one string. So you can’t just write “F#,” you need to specify which F# you mean. Hence the conventional notation using diamond noteheads similar to grace notes.

An ossia stave above is a really great idea. It will keep the lever changes from disrupting the layout, brilliant, thank

I’m glad that will work. As an aside, I had never heard the term “lever harp” before. I’ve seen Celtic harps aplenty, but never one with the lever mechanisms. In fairness to me, harps aren’t all over the place (although I’ve played a concert harp before and I told my wife if I ever won the lotto, a nice cello and a concert harp would be two of my first splurges.) That said, I’m glad to learn about the two different types of harp. For anyone else who is interested, I found a wonderful youtube video that clearly demonstrates how the lever harp mechanism works in relation to a standard/chromatic/pedal harp.

Although ossias are a great solution, it’s harder to read for many harpists; that’s why they prefer de diamond notes. You can achieve this in Dorico using a different voice, and changing the noteheads to a custom diamond notehead (where all rhythmic values use the same notehead), and then hiding the stems. That way you can place the lever changes exactly where they are easier to read and functional to the layout.

Here’s an excellent explanation on lever harp changes notation, by Sylvia Woods; all of the approaches are easily achievable in Dorico. Hope it helps.

I was helping out with a junior orchestra and the young harpist had a lever harp. Most pedal harps are too large and too expensive for a diminutive beginner. If she had a global note change, she would have to move levers for all instances of that pitch class and that can take time. So, better to have single indications where appropriate.

Think of the pedal harp as being diatonic. You tend to tune for a specific key and then have minimal lever changes. The levers only allow a semitone up; down is not possible. So, you’re limited in the keys you can use without retuning each string.

Think of the concert harp as being chromatic. Tune it in C then levers allow you to change strings up or down a semitone. All keys and a large variety of modes are available.

You want a whole tone glissando? Use a concert harp or specifically tune each string on a lever harp.