Wedding Music for Lever Harps - Books & Collections
(for more books not yet reviewed, see below)
Beth Kollé & Laurie Riley, Wedding Music for Lever Harp - Twenty-three Classic, Traditional, and Ethnic Wedding Arrangements. Mel Bay 2001. ISBN 0-7866-5408-2. $24.95. (reviewed Sept. 2001)
This is a new book just out, and I've already used it at a couple of weddings. It is the first collection I've come across that really is perfect for the kind of stuff I do. I play lever harp exclusively, and I've found that a lot of wedding music that is supposed to be suited for lever harp is actually rather awkward, more like pedal harp music with lever changes worked in instead of pedal changes. I play a lot of Celtic and early music, and generally I like elegant, simple arrangements rather than big ornate overworked versions with lots of fluffy chords and glisses. This book offers a nice blend of Classical, Celtic, Jewish, and other traditional music. The arrangements are simple and short, yet still manage to sound interesting and full. They don't require tons of practice, which is another great bonus. (When adding a new wedding piece to your repertoire, something that can be worked up quickly is ideal. It's all well and good to spend weeks or even months learning an elabourate programme piece for a recital, but I find that for wedding music, it's much nicer to start with a straight-forward piece that can be worked up in one or two sittings.) You can always elabourate on it later, by improvising variations or adding extra chords, etc. Of course, not everyone is comfortable with improvising; but the pieces in this book are just fine as is, and can bear several repeats without sounding boring. The songs are set out in logical order (preludes, then processionals, meditations, and recessionals), and there are some handy little tips included at the beginning for folks who might be new to the wedding business. Even if you don't play at weddings very often, most of these pieces are equally nice played in any setting (with some obvious exceptions, like the Bridal March). Finally, all the pieces are included on the CD, which is especially helpful for those who haven't heard them before, or are unsure of the pacing for ceremonial pieces. All in all, a compact, helpful book, and a good addition to any lever harp player's collection. - T.H.
Moreen Thomas, Five Pieces for Harp, Flute, and Cello. Published by Lyon and Healey, 1993. Click here to see the review (in the Harp Music Collections section).
Wedding Music for Flute and Lever Harp, arranged by Ernie Brock, Arriere-Cour productions, 1992.
My Wedding Book, Arranged for Lever & Pedal Harp by Suzanne Balderston. www.beautifulharpsounds.com
For more ideas, visit the pages listed under "Harp Music Sources"
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