(Jan. 23, 2018) — Since my Mel Bay book titled “Easy Scottish Harp Music” containing ten interpretations of little-known Scottish ballads was published in April 2009, I have adhered to the standard of groups of ten when producing new projects.
Beginning last summer, I published arrangements of 14 of my favorite Irish ballads, all learned by ear from vocal selections, then included ten of them in a new book, “Ten Irish Songs for All Harps,” published and copyrighted last fall.
Two new Scottish uploads will hopefully transform into ten this year, with another ten-song collection in the making. I am also planning a ten-song collection of hymns for lever and pedal harp not currently in the repertoire.
At the moment I am working on popular songs from Broadway shows and well-known composers in the “ArrangeMe” category. Thus far I have uploaded my arrangement of John Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me,” Joseph Kosma’s well-loved “Autumn Leaves,” and a favorite from the Broadway show “Carousel,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Rodgers & Hammerstein.
When I was publicly performing over nearly three decades, I found that audiences, even casual ones at wedding receptions and parties, appreciated hearing songs with which they were familiar, and I often played a half-hour set of those at the end of an engagement to foster an environment where people could converse while enjoying songs in the background that they undoubtedly had heard before. These included the above selections along with many others from the repertoires of John Denver, Henry Mancini (Moon River), Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story), and a host of other musical greats.
There are a myriad of wonderful popular songs in my repertoire not mentioned here, and I plan to notate those from the ArrangeMe list over the remainder of the winter. You can therefore expect seven more for an even number of ten!