Près de la Table

Près de la table is French and means to play close to the soundboard. Traditionally this color effect is indicated in French.

Production

The fingers pluck the string in a normal manner but close to the soundboard. The effect varies depending on how close to the soundboard the string is played. The harpist can play gradually into the p.d.l.t. position and away from it.

P.d.l.t.

Sound

Playing close to the soundboard produces a dry and nasal sound. The sound is sometimes compared to that of the Japanese koto or the guitar.

Notation

The acronym p.d.l.t. is written above or below the notes. It should be clear when the p.d.l.t. passage ends. Write ordinario (ord.) or use lines for clarity.

Près de la table.

Range

All strings can be played p.d.l.t. However, the optimal range for p.d.l.t. is the middle register.

Optimal range for p.d.l.t.

 

In the top octave the p.d.l.t. effect is small and almost imperceptible due to the short string length.

Top octave, p.d.l.t. is almost inaudible.

In the low register it is possible to play p.d.l.t., but it is hard to reach. The harpist has to bend forward and in some cases has to place the harp down from the shoulder. Keep in mind that in this position the movements of the right hand become limited.

Low register, where it is hard to play notes p.d.l.t