“Toccata” by Samuel O. Pratt
For Pedal Harp
Intermediate / Advanced / 7 Pages
Copyright 1966 by CHARLES COLIN
Toccata comes from the word meaning to touch, and in music has meant a form of composition usually comprised of two or three sections or movements. It was designed to show off the performer and his virtuosity. Gradually, the term began to be applied to singe movements, or even preludes, as in Bach s Toccatas and Fugues. This Toccata for Harp draws on the name justifiably, since the composition is brilliant and showy, even though technically it is not too difficult. Besides the name, it uses an ancient form- the canon. The melody, which begins in the thirteenth bar, is echoed exactly by a second voice in the next measure. The two voices chase each other in almost perfect imitation for the rest of the piece. Generally, the fingering is indicated by the staff on which the notes are written. The melody often lays between the thumb of the left hand and the third or fourth finger of the right. It would be best, in our opinion, to finger the melody- as it appears in the thirteenth bar-with one note in the left hand and the remaining three notes on each beat with the right. Passage work later in the composition will demand such fingering. So, for consistency and ease, do it the same way. Observe dynamics, especially the sudden crescendos and szforzandos toward effecting little flashes and bursts of brilliance. A slight ritard in the ninth and tenth bars before the end is permissible. But, from there to the close, there must not be any clacking of tempo, in spite of the diminuendo. The final two measures are your last chance for a burst of fire- don t miss it.