This selection of Classical Gems range in difficulty from easy to Intermediate. All are suitable in range for a therapy harp, making them excellent choices for anyone looking to expand their classical repertoire. Click on the link for more information and to hear a software generated mp3!
This charming piece, originally for harpsichord, is simple, yet beautiful. In this arrangement for harp, the right hand and left hand alternate in importance. For more advanced players this piece provides a good basis for ornamentation or improvisation. Great for practicing hand independence and scales, but more fun than an etude!
Claude Debussy's famous Claire de Lune, here in an easy arrangement appropriate for therapy harp (but of course playable on harps of all sizes!). Perfect by itself or as part of a moon-themed set, this arrangement is sure to delight!
This easy arrangement of the Berceuse (lullaby) from Benjamin Godard's 1888 opera Jocelyn will enchant (and possible put to sleep) any nearby listeners. A perfect piece for a first recital or for anyone who wants to learn some more unusual repertoire.
The famous "Lake in the Moonlight" theme from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake. An excellent addition to your classical repertoire, this well loved theme sounds beautiful on harp.
This beautiful arrangement of the Adagio from Ludwig van Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata is sure to be a hit with friends and family. Written in 1778, this piece remains a timeless favorite of the classical repertoire.
Leaves Are Falling, the Nights are Colder
. . . and It's Time for Some Ghost Stories
The Celtic tradition is full of ghostly tales, many of which have come down to us with beautiful melodies. Whether you want to plan a Halloween program or just enjoy the Celtic mysteries, these arrangements are sure to please.
The Celtic tradition is full of ghost stories, but in this one from Scotland the harp plays a central role. When a passing harper makes a new harp from the golden hair and white breastbone of a lovely murdered maiden, it starts to sing the story of her cruel sister's betrayal. This arrangement of the haunting tune includes a recurring motif as introduction and interlude, with three different verses. One of the verses features the melody in the left hand with floating chords above it.
This English ghost ballad is one of my favorites. The tune is haunting and the story more sweet than macabre. This arrangement of this beautiful tune includes some left hand harmonics, harmony in sixths, and a recurring (but optional) lever change.
Like the famous Butterfly, this tune is a slip jig, in 9/8 time. It's a lot of fun to play and a great addition to your ghostly repertoire. The first verse features a rollicking open hand pattern in the left hand--it looks impressive but is not hard to master. There is also some fun parallel motion in the second verse.
This lovely tune is another ballad about a ghostly lover, a story with the usual tragic results. In spite of the sad subject matter, the tune itself is sweetly upbeat. This arrangement is accessible to early intermediate players, and features a lovely waltz pattern in the left hand. The second verse takes the tune into a higher octave.
Highland Fairy Lullaby
In the old days in Celtic lands, the people believed that when a once-healthy infant wasted away, the fairies had stolen the healthy baby and left a changeling in its place. This lovely lullaby, arranged for beginners, tells of a sorrowful mother searching for her lost child. The tune has a lovely lilt, and is arranged so beginners can easily enjoy it. It features a gorgeous descending bass line, and the second verse is played up an octave and features a few easy grace notes and broken chords.
Why play exercises when you can play what's arguably the most charming of Carolan's pieces? This arrangement of Carolan's Draught pulls out all the stops, in honor of the showman the Turlough O'Carolan was reputed to be. The tune gives your right hand a fingering workout, but in a way that is completely "harpistic". Fingering includes thumb slides. I've added parallel scale passages, open hand octaves, lovely open tenth chords, and many other fun touches to the accompaniment. This piece is a great etude for late intermediate players, and perfect for recitals and gigs (and works beautifully as a wedding processional, too).
Come Live With Me and Be My Love
A favorite old English tune, with a sweet, lilting melody, set simply for beginners. Finding engaging repertoire for beginners can be difficult. That's why I arrange many of my favorite tunes especially for my own adult students. The first verse of this lovely piece is accessible to anyone who has mastered overlapping brackets. In the second verse, students get to work on 4-2-1 patterns, rolled chords, and placing and sliding into chords.
Under the Waterfall
This is one of those pieces that students want to play as soon as they hear it. It makes a fine recital or performance piece. Under the Waterfall teaches pattern recognition, climbing inversions and playing 3-finger arpeggios. I suggest practicing with block chords to achieve evenness and fluidity. I've included dynamics, though instead I recommend that you experiment with several different options. It can be played on any harp with at least a full octave below middle C.
A sweet and lively Scottish tune, arranged simply to show off the lilting melody. The rhythms put this piece at the early intermediate level, but it is not hard to learn. Each section adds to the charm and playfulness. The patterns are very fun to play and make a nice warm-up for the hands. It can be played on any harp with at least a full octave below middle C.
Moon Over the Ruined Castle
Another favorite among my students, this piece incorporates harmonics, PDLT with and without nails (to emulate the sound of the koto), and a running triplet pattern for the second verse. A great opportunity to work on special effects and create a show-stopper piece for the early intermediate player. Playable on therapy harp; lowest note, E below middle C (easy to alter to fit the smallest lap harp).
The Harp to Harp PDF harp sheet music store opened in late March with a wealth of music, spanning genres, levels, and harp sizes. Every product page features longer descriptions and a software-generated audio file you can play to hear the whole piece. Remember to scroll down the page to find the audio.
Classical & Medieval Music:
- Debussy's Clair de Lune, three arrangements for three levels, two of them playable on a therapy harp (lowest note C below middle C)
- Debussy's Arabesque No. 1, an intermediate arrangement
- Hymn to Saint Magnus, the unusual and haunting Medieval tune in the Lydian mode, playable on a therapy harp (lowest note C below middle C)
- Cantiga of Alfonso Sabio, a lovely piece in the Dorian mode, playable on a therapy harp (lowest note C below middle C)
- Handel's Passapied in C Major, a great first classical piece, playable on a therapy harp (lowest note C below middle C)
- Concerto de Aranjuez by Rodrigo, the breathtaking second movement arranged for late intermediate harp
- Romanza, the Spanish favorite, arranged for late beginners.
- Several songs from the fairy tradition, including The Mountain of the Women, The Fairy Love Song (Pulling Bracken), The Fairy Boy, and O'Carolan's The Fairy Queen, all for intermediate harp.
- Mermaid and Sea Folk tunes, including The Sea Maiden (beginner and intermediate versions), The Mermaid's Song (early intermediate), and The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry (intermediate).
- The charming English ballad, My Robin is to the Greenwood Gone, in an early intermediate arrangement.
- My Love is Gone to Sea, a beautiful Scottish tune arranged for two levels.
- The Scottish favorite, The Mist Covered Mountains of Home and the Irish favorite, Crossing to Ireland, both arranged for the intermediate player.
- Little Dragonfly, a fun and flighty piece for the harp beginner, to practice overlapping brackets.
You can always find music cross-referenced by genre, level, mode, and other features in the category index.