# How to notate specific-note harp glissando?

I am writing a piece in which I want the harp to play a glissando containing only specific notes, like so:

Is this the best way to notate this type of thing, or is there a better way?

• Do you know how a pedal harp works? For this music the harpist will have to silently press a pedal in the space of that dotted 1/8 note to sharpen the G - that could be a challenge. Aside from that, whether you get an answer to your question here, I recommend the book Behind Bars by Elaine Gould - it has answers to most notation questions Jul 26, 2021 at 2:53
• That's not a glissando. For a glissando you need one note for every string. @ToddWilcox A quarter note is plenty of time for a pedal change: youtu.be/ntNsrCPsS10 Jul 26, 2021 at 7:52
• A glissando will play each and every string from the low to the high note (as here), but since several of those available strings are not played, it isn't a glissando. It's far more like an arpeggio - as specific notes are played. It can only be notated as OP has done.
– Tim
Jul 26, 2021 at 8:31
• @ToddWilcox The pedal doesn't need to be down until the G# is played: that's a quarter note plus a 32nd. There are 64ths written so the tempos is presumably fairly slow, but in any case the example linked from my previous comment demonstrates pedal changes on every beat at a tempo of about 170. Jul 26, 2021 at 14:25
• To be fair, the term "harp glissando" is very widespread even if it isn't always actually glissando. Jul 27, 2021 at 15:22

The exact notation depends on the specifics of how you'd like the arpeggio to be executed. Here are a few possibilities. (The open-ended ties in the first example can be used on any of the others to express sustaining the notes.)

### As notated

As notated, it's an arpeggio played in time. A harpist would interpret the notation literally.

Allowing that all of the notes should be sustained, open-ended ties will communicate that.

### As arpeggio

A more concise notation would write the arpeggio as a chord and include the arpeggiation symbol alongside.

### As grace notes

Allowing the topmost note is the "arrival" note, it could be written as grace notes (which are given no time) leading to the main note (which receives the notated duration).