Dragonflower Music Grading System for Harp Music
Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher has written a very good grading system for harp music. All Dragonflower Music pieces have been graded according to a detailed description of the playing difficulty levels:
Easy to understand, we have listed it here:
B = Beginner No lever or pedal changes required. Primarily single notes used in both hands. Two hand coordination is minimal. Simple meter and keys used only. Minimal range of the harp used. No uses of harmonics, pres de la table or glissandos. Length of piece not more than two pages.
AB = Advanced Beginner No more than four lever/pedal changes required. Primarily single notes used in both hands with simple placings. Occasional chords employed on slow-moving notes. Mostly simple meter with occasional use of compound meter. Simple harmonics, près de la table, or glissandos may be used. Length of piece not more than four pages.
I = Intermediate Several lever/pedal changes may be required. Independent use of both hands on either single notes or triads required. Some occasional larger chords used with wider hand spacing necessary. All simple and compound meters used, but not rhythmically challenging. Harmonics, près de la table, or glissandos may be used freely. No restriction on length of piece at this or higher levels.
AI = Advanced Intermediate Significant lever/pedal changes may be required within the piece. Complete hand and finger independence necessary. More complex fingering, connecting and replacement of notes, technically somewhat demanding. More rhythmically challenging, syncopated, or having rapidly changing note values. No restrictions on use of contemporary harp sound effects.
A = Advanced Numerous lever/pedal changes within the piece and/or cross pedaling. Complete hand and finger independence in contrary motion required. Rhythmically challenging, highly syncopated or complex. Technically quite challenging; finger demands are considerable. Exploitation of all contemporary sound effects on the harp can be expected.
V = Virtuoso Extensive lever/pedal changes within the piece. A “showy” piece, requiring complete technical mastery of the instrument and the highest level of musicianship.
Look for the grading symbol on the lower left back cover of every DFM arrangement. While every single characteristic may not be present, the descriptions give an idea of the type of technical demands that may be encountered in a harp composition at a given level. Most of our publications are in the intermediate to advanced intermediate range, as that is where the majority of harp players feel comfortable but challenged.
Dragonflower music can be found on our site here:
To read more about Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher, visit her site: Dragonflower. http://www.dragonflower.com/
Rees-Rohrbacher has recently released three publications. Click on the cover for more information. These titles are available both as PDF download and paper.