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  • Arrangements for Small Harps

     Alyssa Cowell updated 1 week ago 12 Members · 38 Posts
  • Alyssa Cowell

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    I love the arrangements Christy-lyn has put together for us, but I’m always on the lookout for more beautiful pieces for small harps! I would love some recommendations geared toward 26-string harps (or smaller).

    I’ll get the ball rolling: I really love Anne Crosby Gaudet’s small harp arrangements – I’m working on her Watercolor on White collection and really enjoying the challenge!

  • Claire Lécuyer

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    Thanks for the tip, I’m also interested in finding arrangements for small harp, because mine have 27 strings. I’ll follow this discussion!

    If you like early music, I can recommand Claire Piganiol’s website (and it’s not because she’s named Claire haha): https://www.earlyharpmusic.net/

    Not everything is for 26 strings, but a lot of medieval or Renaissance sheet music are adapted for small harp. Sometimes there is only a few lower notes, but you can also play everything an octave higher, which fits sometimes very well for this kind of music!

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      2 March, 2021 at 8:59 pm

      I just got a chance to browse this site – all I can say is: John! Dowland!?

      • Claire Lécuyer

        Member
        2 March, 2021 at 11:21 pm

        Haha yes, I thought the same when I found it, I love Dowland! I think I’ll end up buying the book of 10 pieces, for the moment I have the Renaissance harp handbook and it’s very nice, moreover for beginners because there are also tips and a few exercises (about how to place fingers, accents, etc), and there is a level progression through the book. I recommand!

  • Amanda Munson

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    I’m also looking for music for small harps; my harp only has 19 strings which has proven to be rather a challenge to find things to play

  • Katharina Kleidosty

    Member
    2 March, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    For harps smaller than 20 strings, I can recommend Kristine Warmhold’s music. You can find it on her site https://www.musikunterricht-lohmar.de/noten-f%C3%BCr-kleine-harfe-sheet-music-for-small-harp/

    or at Derwent harps: https://derwent-harps.myshopify.com/collections/all

    I have a 15 string lap harp and bought one of her sheet music books aimed at that exact model.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      2 March, 2021 at 9:54 pm

      Thanks for sharing – the samples Kristine Warmhold’s site look intriguing!

  • Sylvia Lim

    Member
    3 March, 2021 at 2:51 am

    Harper Tasche and Cindy Blevins both have lots of music for small harps.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      3 March, 2021 at 4:29 am

      I have a few of Cindy Blevins’ books – she has some nice options for small AND non-levered harps! I find I need to spend some quality time adding brackets and fingering before I feel ready to attempt playing – a bit challenging for the beginner. Her customer service is great – when I had a missing page in a printed copy, and she responded to my email in record time.

      Harper Tasche is new to me – thanks for sharing!

  • Amanda Barnes

    Member
    3 March, 2021 at 3:02 am

    I’ve purchased a lot of Anne Crosby Gaudet’s music for 26 strings.

    Melody’s traditional music has several books for small harps. I haven’t purchased any of these yet but they’re on my list!

    https://www.folkharp.com/33-19-26-strings

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    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      3 March, 2021 at 4:34 am

      I really love Anne Crosby Gaudet’s arrangements – she makes expressive and unexpected choices that really shine on harp. This past Christmas I bought a copy of “All is Calm” and I’m still practicing it at least once a week because of how sparkly it sounds?

  • Sylvia Lim

    Member
    3 March, 2021 at 8:02 am

    Camac makes a small travel harp and has some sheet music for small harps in their shop:

    Home

    Harpsicle also as quite a selection of sheet music for the small harp:

    https://harpsicleharps.com/harp-music

  • Amanda Barnes

    Member
    3 March, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    With as many small harps on the market, I’m surprised there isn’t even more music available.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      3 March, 2021 at 4:14 pm

      Agreed! I picked a smaller harp based on portability, affordability, and because I wasn’t sure if I could handle the challenge of more notes – I think a lot of new harpists have the same considerations. I’ve started saving up for a bigger harp, but my savings account is not improving as quickly as my harp skills – thus the search for music to keep me busy.

  • Claire Lécuyer

    Member
    3 March, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    “my savings account is not improving as quickly as my harp skills” : so true, same here ?

    I also find difficult to find sheet music for small harps, however I noticed that very often, a lot of high notes are not used at all through the piece. So it is technically possible to do everything an octave higher! Of course it won’t fit to all repertoires, but for folk/celtic or medieval music it totally works! It was kind of a revelation when I read this advice and tried, this opens new perspectives ? It’s just a little bit of adaptation for the brain, but definitely something to try!

  • Alyssa Cowell

    Member
    10 March, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I just remembered another arranger that I have a few books by – Suzanne Guldimann.

    For fans of historical music, she has arrangements for small harps with historical notes and lyrics. They are pretty accessible for beginners, too!

    • Claire Lécuyer

      Member
      10 March, 2021 at 11:16 pm

      Wow, I took a look at this, her books seem very interesting, thanks! I have to search if I can find them outside of USA (as shipping costs are really expensive on US websites when you’re in Europe – too bad because you have several wonderful online shops).

      I just ordered the ’40 O’Carolan Tunes’ by Sylvia Woods (it took me a while to choose between this one and a few others!). Never worked on her arrangements, but I have the feeling that she is a reference for a lot of people here, so I’ll try! This one is not specific for small harps, but I guess I will adapt when needed…

      • Alyssa Cowell

        Member
        11 March, 2021 at 12:24 am

        I have 2 Sylvia Woods books – I bought the 50 Irish Melodies book thinking it was the O’Carolan book and realized my mistake too late – I like the tunes though, so it worked out.🙃Word to the wise: I do have have to occasionally make some octave shifts to make the songs fit on my harp.

  • Juanita Arnold

    Member
    11 March, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Thanks for starting this discussion. I agree that a lot of people seem to have small harps, and yet is difficult to find music specifically for them. Thanks for all the resources mentioned here. Looking forward to looking in to some of them. One of the challenges to my savings for a bigger (my savings are also not growing as well as my skills 🙂 ) is I keep finding music I want to buy.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      11 March, 2021 at 12:17 am

      I hear that – I feel like every other day I think of yet another song I’d like a harp arrangement of….😬

  • Eve Henry

    Member
    13 March, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    I bought some fakebooks and play the melody in the right hand. With the left hand I add the chords, that are usually given within the fakebooks. I try out if I like inversions, or wether I need inversions if a chord would not fit wit the range of tones my small harp has. I’m still learning arranging for the harp with Sylvia Woods book about arranging techniques. And once I read some information about old Irish harp techniques. So I try this, too.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      15 March, 2021 at 5:56 pm

      You make a great point – fake books/chord charts/lead sheets are a great option once you have a good grasp of the music theory behind chord reading, and it doesn’t matter what size harp you have!

  • Eve Henry

    Member
    15 March, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    I find the arranging technique book very helpful.

  • Johanna Zuehls

    Member
    16 March, 2021 at 6:23 am

    I got this book a few weeks ago and love the haunting melodies!!

    https://www.folkharp.com/19-26-strings/3074-peaceful-pieces-for-small-harps.html

    Joanna Mell is the composer!

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      19 March, 2021 at 3:56 am

      I like that the site you linked to has a whole section of music devoted to small harps – thanks for the new-to-me resource!

  • Libby Hitchcock

    Member
    17 March, 2021 at 7:33 pm

    I discovered the sheet music arranged by Debbie Vinick on SheetMusicPlus.com labeled as “Easy” is arranged for harps 25 strings or more! Some are beginner and some are intermediate, and it looks like some of her other pieces can be easily used on a lap harp.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      19 March, 2021 at 3:53 am

      Thanks for the suggestion – I’m excited about those Beatles arrangements!

  • Alyssa Cowell

    Member
    22 March, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Just a quick addition to the list we’re building here:

    https://www.harpkit.com/music-for-the-limerick-harp-1.html

    https://www.harpkit.com/music-for-the-limerick-harp-2.html

    Two FREE collections of songs for 26 string harp!

    • Claire Lécuyer

      Member
      22 March, 2021 at 6:32 pm

      Great, thank you!

      This will occupy me during the re-re-lockdown…

  • Ellen Noel

    Member
    29 March, 2021 at 11:41 pm

    Rees Harps, maker of the 26-string harpsicle, has books on their website for small harps. I bought “More Easy Classics.” All of them have a no-lever option.

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      6 April, 2021 at 1:11 am

      Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll have to take a look at this!

  • Katharina Kleidosty

    Member
    2 April, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    Hi everyone – because it came up in the Facebook group, I wanted to see how many of Christy-Lyn’s intermediate pieces can be played on a 26 string harp. I know that I learned intermediate Hallelujah and Perfect on a small harp before I got my bigger harp, and I just tried the intermediate “Yesterday” – works perfectly just played an octave higher. I did have to change a couple of things for “Danny Boy” and I don’t like how it sounds on my small harp, but it’s absolutely playable. I did a quick and imperfect video just now if anyone is interested. https://youtu.be/ALTJy_A50Ik

    • Claire Lécuyer

      Member
      3 April, 2021 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Katharina, thanks for sharing! I also noticed that all the mid-intermediate lessons (and more) have lower notes than C. I find that some songs are totally working an octave higher, and some others don’t really fit with high notes, then I prefer do some adjustments. This one sounds nice at this octave too, and it’s on my wishlist for a future course when I’ll reach this level!

      But I remember that on a previous talk, Christy-Lyn said that in the future lessons, she will include some tips to adapt to small harps when needed. I’m curious to see that!

      • Titia Stultitia

        Member
        4 April, 2021 at 10:22 am

        Christy Lyn shared some general tips on adapting a piece for a small harp here:

        https://youtu.be/jclHf9_TmbE

        • Claire Lécuyer

          Member
          4 April, 2021 at 2:12 pm

          Of course! I’ve watched it, but it deserves a second watch. Good idea to post it here!

        • Alyssa Cowell

          Member
          6 April, 2021 at 1:12 am

          Thanks for the reminder about this video – I’d forgotten about it!

    • Alyssa Cowell

      Member
      6 April, 2021 at 1:13 am

      What a lovely interpretation! I’ve been doing a little re-arranging of
      some of the more intermediate songs when it doesn’t impact the beauty of
      the line too much – I’ll admit, sometimes I just skip the extra low
      notes if it doesn’t make the music sound too sparse/thin (that way I can
      keep the indicated fingering to avoid having to re-learn the muscle
      memory with a bigger instrument).

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