How close are your harp versions to the original music?
This is mentioned on the page for each score:
- harp layout: I have made an edition of the piece keeping almost all original notes and rhythms. My work here was to make a harpist-friendly layout, choose a transposition that will sound best on the harp etc.
- adapted for harp: changes to the accompaniment texture, small changes to the melody, octave changes etc. so the piece works well on the harp.
- extensively edited: significant changes to the structure of the piece (some parts left out, for instance) and/or to the voices have been made to make this piece available to harpists.
What do the levels correspond to?
Beginner: this cas be one of the first pieces you play on the harp.
Easy: can usually be played after a few months to a year of regular practice.
Easy intermediate: can usually be played after 2-3 years of regular practice.
Intermediate: can usually be played after 4-5 years of regular practice.
Advanced: requires good proficiency on the instrument.
Please keep in mind that everyone learns differently, and that this scale is based on my experience playing these pieces with young beginners. If you start learning the music as an adult or already play an other instrument, your experience may be different.
What are the various types of harp you mention?
The page for each score mentions for which of the most common types of early harps the piece can be played:
- medieval / lap harp: a small instrument in the treble range. Scores marked as suitable for these instruments will have a G3 (middle of F clef) as their lowest note and will either have no alterations or alterations that can be fretted on the neck (see below) or left out if this technique doesn't work on your harp. Retuning may be necessary before starting to play the piece and is indicated.
- diatonic harp: an instrument with 7 strings per octave and no lever/fork mechanism, with a wider range than that of a lap harp. The range of these pieces fits that of a larger "gothic" harp going down to G2 (first low line of F clef). Retuning may be necessary before starting to play the piece and is indicated.
- harp with 8 strings per octave: some harps have 8 strings per octave, most commonly strings for both b flat and natural. Some pieces can be played on these harps but wouldn't work so easily on a diatonic instrument. Retuning may be necessary before starting to play the piece and is indicated.
- early chromatic harps: early harps with several rows of strings (parallel double and triple harps, Spanish harp with crossed rows).
- lever harps: diatonic harp with a lever or fork mechanism.
Can I produce alterations on my diatonic harp?
On some diatonic harps it is possible to raise a string by a semitone by pressing the string against the neck, thus shortening it. This works best in the low and middle registers.
If your harp has braypins (pins that hold the string in place while making it buzz slightly), it may also be possible to push the string against the braypin of the next string to shorten it.
If you want to play a flat, you have to shorten the next lower string: an E flat is produced by shortening the D string, effectively playing a D sharp.
I'm still not sure which pieces would work on my harp.
Don't hesitate to contact me describing your instrument and we will figure it out together!
How can I search by level or harp type?
As the catalogue is still small, the best way to do this for the moment is to type what you are looking for in the Search Box, for example "medieval / lap harp" or "easy intermediate". Subcategories will be added as the website grows.
Why do you sell scores when there is so much free music online?
These scores are practical editions especially adapted to harp learners: I aim at offering you the comfort of browsing through scores that you know will work on your harp, with adapted layout and personalized tips.
Can I buy these scores in print?
At the moment only some scores are offered in print but I will add more printed versions soon, stay tuned!