PhD defense Maria Christina Cleary

PhD defense

December 14 2016 (10.00)

On December 14th Maria publicly defended her thesis "harpe organisée", 1720-1840. Rediscovering the lost pedal techniques on harps with a single-action pedal mechanism in the Senate Chamber of the Academy building in Leiden.

The “harpe organisée”, 1720-1840: Rediscovering the lost pedal techniques on harps with a single-action pedal mechanism, is the title of Maria Christina Cleary's PhD thesis. This is the first monographic study on harp pedal techniques, tracing the historical way to pedal on the early pedal harps with a single-action pedal mechanism, the “harpe organisée”, the term used by Diderot.

Maria has re-discovered the technique of moving two or three pedals at a time on one side of the harp, while playing the works by Louis Spohr. Double-pedalling becomes a simple foot movement simplified when a central pedal is folded away in order to operate two non-adjacent pedals at the same time. The heel and toe can move pedals independently.

The supervising team consists of:

Prof. A.G.M. Koopman
Prof. F. de Ruiter
Prof.dr. D. Fabris (Napels)