Henry Dixon Cowell was an American composer, music theorist, pianist, teacher, publisher, Another novel method advanced by Cowell, in pieces such as Aeolian Harp (ca. ), was what he dubbed “string piano”—rather than using the. Print and download in PDF or MIDI Aeolian Harp. Henry Cowell’s Aeolian Harp ( ) was one of the first piano pieces ever to feature. Henry Cowell. Publisher: AMP. Aeolian Harp (). Publisher. Associated Music Publishers Inc. Category. Solo Keyboard(s). Year Composed.

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Aeolian harp

In these works, the pianist is instructed to strum with the left hand directly on the strings of a grand piano, controlling the chords played by silently pressing down the necessary keys with the right hand. The pedals are used to control the duration of the chords. Cowell provides detailed instructions as how to play Aeolian Harp: In every instance, Cowell specifies that the strings must be “swept by the flesh of the finger” and this produces a soft, attractive sound not unlike that of an autoharp.


The breeze of a stiff wind activates a true aeolian harp, producing an ethereal tone quite unlike Cowell’s piano piece.

Aeolian Harp – Henry Cowell sheet music download free in PDF or MIDI

He claimed that Aeolian Harp was the earliest of his piano string pieces and indicated at times that it pre-dated However, in his Folkways recording of the piece, he dates it to The manuscript is undated, but if hap date is correct, than Cowell did have one earlier piano string piece he’d likely forgotten about, entitled The Sword of Oblivion, HC – AMP first published Aeolian Harp as a piece of sheet music in Inhe further arranged the melody and chords, combined as narp work by that same title for violin and piano, for violinist Joseph Szigetibut also known as Celestial Violin, HC a.

InSzigeti decided to surprise Cowell by having this arrangement published by Peer International. Peer was forced to withdraw this arrangement from its catalog. Although its rich, sonorous texture suggests complexity of execution, Aeolian Harp is surprisingly easy to play. That, and the appealing mood that the piece sets, has helped to establish Aeolian Harp as one of Henry Cowell ‘s most popular piano pieces.


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