Small harp pedal app

I’ve found myself writing often with harp in my orchestra lately, and do love the way Dorico handles harp pedals. It’s frankly brilliant being able to just enter the names of the notes, or just insert a short-cut version of the harp pedal diagram.

I work using two computers and two monitors (I often will have a score PDF up on the 2nd monitor/computer, with Dorico running on my main computer.)

My better half made me a little app that I can leave open on that 2nd computer/monitor (there’s also an app for tablet version, but since I work for 6-8hrs a day non-stop, it tends to burn out my tablet’s batteries rather quickly.)

This app is VERY simple, it’s basically just a series of boxes that show the up, middle or down position of the harp’s pedals (they are all named, the accidentals get added to the names depending on the pedal position), and it also generates an image of what the harp diagram would look like.

I use it to keep track of where I am in changing the pedals in a piece, and for glissandi.

this way I can click on the notes in the app, to indicate flat, natural, or sharp, and it generates the diagram, which I can then use to quickly enter into Dorico as —|---- notation.

Does anyone else think this could be useful to them?

I understand that not everyone works on dual computers, though I think some people do have their computers set up as dual-monitors?

The app could also be compiled as to be compatible for Mac (right now it’s Windows.)


Oh, I also suppose it could be recompiled for a tablet for anyone using a tablet while the work with Dorico on their main computer.
(it’s been serving me well for the last year on my little Android tablet… it just really chows down on the battery life. Well, it’s not that the app uses the battery, but having my tablet on for 8 hours on end does!)

Maybe I misunderstand, but what’s wrong with Dorico’s harp pedal calculation?

this little app helps me keep track of my harp pedals as I compose.
it also helps to graphically SEE the pedals and the associated note names.

I’m not one who will readily simply let a program automatically assign harp pedals… there are many times where I need to enharmonically respell things to make them fit (or more playable.)

Thanks to you, Michel, and your better half for your generous offer.

Even though I tend to use Dorico’s pedaling system, if appears to be a very sophisticated bit of programming with a very clear, useful interface.

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I learned from a harpist to slide 7 pennies up & down on the desk to keep track.
Obviously this app is an analog of that … Thanks, Michel.


I have a really bad memory for certain things, and despite 40 years of experience and formal training, I STILL cannot for the life of me remember the order of the pedals in a harp diagram. In that sense the little app really helps me.


I fully respect that you want to do pedalling manually… however, in my 40 years of experience, all pro harpists I’ve talked to strongly suggest/prefer I leave pedalling to them (even when my own were labeled “pretty good”) :wink:


make up your mind.
either it’s “what’s wrong with Dorico’s harp pedaling.”
or it’s “harpists don’t want you to include pedaling.”

Don’t use the little app if you don’t want it or need it.
It’s useful to me.
I thought it might be useful to others.

Yes please. I would find this app very useful. Where can I download it?

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Oh, I’m sure it may be useful and I appreciate the offer, but personally I have no use for it. ( as I don’t write pedalling, except very occationally )

So why are you bothering to answer to this thread?
I don’t comment on threads that have to do with drum kits; or writing for kazoo; or didgeridoo; or bagpipes, bicycles and balloons…

You’re like one of those Amazon reviewers who answer a posed question with something along the lines of “I don’t know, I’ve never bought this product.”

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I will try and find the easiest method to make the app available.
I won’t get an answer until tonight at the earliest.

I answered because it sounded like you MIGHT have overlooked some functionality in Dorico’s pedal handling. I am really sorry. OaO.

@fratveno Indeed harpists write their own pedal markings anyway. But keeping track of pedals as you compose can help you make things more playable.

The mnemonic I learned was “Did Columbus Bring Enough Food Going (to) America?”


the worst part is… my brain simply refuses to latch on to any form of mnemonic!
I simply have to learn something, plainly.
I could never even learn those mnemonics for the names of notes on a staff.

I could certainly see the usefulness of such an app, if even for merely helping you figure out what is even playable as you compose. I’m happy to let Dorico calculate efficient pedaling, but sometimes one can think something is possible when it isn’t, while writing. This would clearly help you keep track of the pitches to synthesize what combinations are actually functional. Good on your better half!

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it’s come in quite handily in passages that were heavily reliant on enharmonic spelling.

So is there a link to the app? Thanks.

hey there.
I’ll repost it in a bit.
I’ve asked my better half to add another feature to it, a bit more complicated, but quite useful: something to also keep track of timpani pedals and tunings.

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