Wood block/metal plate

Wood blocks, metal plates and other flat surfaces can be used as types of mutes on the harp.

Production

The metal plate or wood block is held against the strings with one hand, and the strings are played with the other hand.

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Strings muted with a wood block.

Sound

The strings rattle against the surface of the metal plate or wood block and make a buzzing sound. The sound quality depends on the material of the plate/block and on the strength of pressure that is used.

If the block is held tightly against the strings it will mute them almost completely and produce a muted, nearly pitch less sound. If the block, however, is held lightly against the string, the buzzing sound will be more apparent and the pitch of the strings is audible.

The sound also depends on the density of the block or plate. For example, holding a hollow percussion wood block against the strings gives a resonant sound, since the wood block functions as a resonator.

Notation

The muted area is indicated with a cluster sign. Verbal explanation is necessary.

Mute with wood block.

Range

The whole harp.

Remember, however, that the space between the sound board and the neck is quite narrow in the highest register. Therefore the wood block or metal plate can not be very large if it should be used on the highest strings.