Light so Brilliant: Christmas Carols and Tunes for Solo Harp
by Stephanie Claussen
My own arrangements of a variety of familiar and unfamiliar pieces. I incorporated rich textures to create a full sound and rhythmic excitement. Flavored more ancient than modern. My favorites are “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and “Whence Is That Goodly Fragrance Flowing.” 21 pieces, mostly French. Some fingerings. Includes chord symbols.
Music for the Heather Folk
by Sue Richards
One of my all-time favorite harp books; I open almost every gig with a set of four or five pages from “Music for the Heather Folk.” Contains tunes and airs from the British Isles, a mixture of fast and slow. My favorite is “Nyth Y Gwcw” (“The Cuckoo’s Nest” in English). (Listen to it on her album “Grey Eyed Morn“). Sue Richards’ arrangements are lovely: open, not too complicated, never boring. She includes some very nice ornaments. There is a nice duet arrangement of “Twa Bonnie Maidens” in the back. 28 pieces. No fingerings.
by Sunita Staneslow
I think Sunita’s arranging hallmark is her ability to sculpt effortless arpeggios. Discerning harpists will be able to execute these with ease by employing repetitive hand shapes. A page of intimidating notes turns into a relaxing moment to show off. Lots of harmonics. Open, clear arrangements. Sunita includes some lesser-know carols that are definitely worth learning; I was especially enraptured by “How Lovely is the Dark Blue Sky.” 16 pieces, mostly Germanic/Scandanvian. No fingerings. Includes chord symbols.
Celtic Harp Solos
by Kim Robertson
Another book that I practically play through cover-to-cover at every gig. Kim’s arrangements tend to be atmospheric and unexpected, with thick textures and big chords. The book includes a grab bag of styles: Celtic, jazzy, classical, modal, medieval, syncopated. My favorite pieces are “Sonatina III” by Dussek and and her spunky syncopated version of “Musical Priest.” 45 pieces. No fingerings. Includes chord symbols.
Great French Composers for Lever Harp
by Sunita Staneslow
Clair de Lune and The Girl With the Flaxen Hair are some of the more recognizable tunes. Sunita’s fingerings are great and she has done a fantastic job of adapting these works for the lever harp. The pieces are not for the faint of heart, but these arrangements are worth the effort. I would describe these pieces as romantic and ethereal (once you’ve finished the hard work of counting them out loud over and over!) 14 pieces. Fingerings included.
Celtic Music for Folk Harp
by Leslie McMichael and Laurie Riley
Lovely little Celtic tunes. Pieces become progressively more difficult. No fingerings. Includes descriptions of the pieces. I would describe these pieces as sweet and fun.
Harpists, do you have any books you absolutely love? Comment below!
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