17:37, 06.10.2015
Dganit Elyakim



_Extended / Dganit Elyakim

_Extended is a library in constant expansion covering extended technics on various instruments. It is a unique project created in collaboration with Halas and HaTeiva concert hall.

Extended’s first guest is the cellist Dan Weinstein, to whom we owe the idea of starting the library with natural harmonics for cello, an extended technic that, by now, is almost a convention and is used by composers quite frequently. It will be followed by a chapter on artificial harmonics, so stay tuned (and off-key!). If you want to skip the blah-blah just scroll down to listen and download the samples.

Harmonics on stringed instruments (flageolet-tones) is one of the most common extended technics for strings so it felt like the appropriate corner stone to start with. Harmonics are produced by gently touching a string on specific hotspots which produce a flutelike, silvery sound from the string.

A smattering of strings harmonics samples can be found on the net. However, for this project, Dan and I decided to push it a bit further and record the harmonics of an entire octave for each and every string. The further you go, the less overtones you get and the harder it becomes to produce a ‘clean’ sound. The reason behind this phenomena is simple. The first harmonics splits the string into two equal parts and sits on the middle of the string. The next one splits the string into three equal parts, the fourth into four and so on. As a result, the space between harmonics shrinks as the string is divided into more parts and harmonics become increasingly harder to locate precisely. Yet, I find these slightly off-tuned samples the most compelling ones.

I also notated the samples. While some of the extended technics have no codified notation, harmonics do have a few recognized notation systems. I find the following system the most efficient and precise one: each harmonics is notated with two notes. The lower indicates the string on which the harmonics is played. The upper (a diamond shaped note head) indicates the place on the sting where the finger should be positioned. I also wrote the pitch that it yields in words (i.e., C3, B4 etc.)

In the samples below, the files’ names start with a number that corresponds to the number above the bar, followed by the string’s name, followed by the pitch that it yields. This transcription was made on “Lilypond”, a free music engraving program which is part of the GNU Project.

Natural harmonics – transcription

Link for samples


Cello: Dan Weinstein



Recorded at Hateiva, Tel Aviv-Jaffa.





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