Okay, so it’s not quite October yet. Thought I’d get a bit of a head start. It certainly feels like October around here; chilly, windy, leaves skittering everywhere.
The HarpBlog Tune of the Month is courtesy of Chubby Sparrow Music . For a printable version, right click on the picture and choose “save target as”, or pop over to the Chubby Sparrow Free Music page for more detailed printing instructions (note: if you just left click and try to print directly from the browser, it probably won’t print at the right size).
Our early music group plays this one in a set with “The Old Mole”.
Morrison’s, a spritely jig in E dorian, is a well-known standard at Celtic sessions everywhere. Typical of trad tunes, it goes by other names as well, including Pipe on the Hob, Maurice Carmondy’s Favourite, Stick Across The Hob, and Tom Carmondy’s Favorite.
Click on the picture to get a larger printable version (it usually works better if you right click and choose “save link as”, or “save target as”, and then print it from your computer later; some browsers have a hard time printing high-rez images at the right size).
These are a few easy beginner exercises that you can use to start getting those stiff fingers a little more flexible and coordinated. All linking (“walking”) exercises can be continued for a full octave (or, up the entire harp if you prefer!). Fingering inside square brackets means all fingers in the brackets should be placed before beginning to pluck the first note. The little “x” in the crossing-over exercise indicates when to cross the fourth finger under the thumb (or, when to cross the thumb over one of the other fingers).
These exercises aren’t meant to be a substitute for a proper exercise book, just something to get you started.
For lever harps, I highly recommend Deborah Friou’s “Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed”; it’s the one all my students use. It covers just about every exercise you could possibly need on a lever harp, and would be equally helpful to pedal harp players. You can get Deborah’s books at the Sylvia Woods Harp Center, Melody’s Traditional Music & Harp Shoppe, and most other harp stores.