To my knowledge, these lovely songs, taken from Irish vocal repertoire, have never been arranged for harp, and all are playable on both lever and pedal harps with no accidentals.
In arranging them for performance, my goal was to bring out the unique melodies supported by a flowing and supportive bass line.
Reviews of my “Easy Scottish Harp Music” book, published in 2009 by Mel Bay, are here. The collection, along with a mini-biography, is featured at Harp Column Music. Vendors include Google Play, SheetMusicPlus, Kolacny Music, Amazon, eBooksDownloads, and the Atlanta Harp Center. As with my new Irish publication, it contains simple arrangements of ten little-known Scottish folk songs for all harps to enhance any player’s Celtic repertoire.
I expect to be publishing a new collection of Celtic songs over the winter.
It’s like stepping from one world into a new one…transitioning from traditional, physical performances to building an online presence through tools I never heard of before.
I’ve been learning, a little at a time.
This new journey began with CD Baby, which I had known about and where I now have a presence. An online distributor of all types of music, CD Baby sent my album to Spotify, Amazon MP3 and to Google Play, where my 2009 book of Scottish arrangements has been sold for some time, among other places.
My music is even available at a music distribution service called “Shazam“!
Whether or not I will experience large audiences or customers from these new forums, I don’t know, but I can at least share my music in this new way without having to load up, travel, set up or tune!
(Sep. 17, 2017) — I am very pleased to announce that my CD, “Celtic Reflections,” is now available at CD Baby in both downloadable and hard-copy formats:
Although I am still becoming acquainted with their services, the people there thus far have been professional, very prompt, and extremely helpful in getting my page up and running. I am sure thousands or even millions of musicians worldwide have experienced the same with this great online music outlet.
Please take a stroll over to find an incredible array of artists and their musical creations from every imaginable genre.
Thank you, CD Baby!
(Sep. 12, 2017) — Last week, the publisher of my arrangements, SheetMusicPlus.com, reminded its newsletter audience that musicians are already looking for Christmas music and associated titles have increased in sales in recent weeks.
At first it seemed to be too early to even think about snow, turkey, ornaments and the music that comes with it with the temperature still a balmy 80° during the day in these parts., However, with the effort it takes to notate, record and upload with an eye toward perfection and the time necessary for musicians to learn new music and play it at their best, it’s a credible statement.
I have therefore taken a break from notating all of my best-loved Celtic selections and turned to music for the upcoming season, beginning with “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” made possible through SheetMusicPlus’s “ArrangeMe” program which allows arrangers to legally produce their own interpretations of copyrighted music. That feature is a big “plus!”
Whether you are a beginning, intermediate, or advanced harpist, the selections I will be uploading over the next few weeks should offer you a new perspective on some familiar songs as well as new, easy-to-learn repertoire not previously arranged for the instrument to my knowledge.
Two songs falling into the latter category are already available.
Each year I used to scour all kinds of playlists to find public-domain but unique pieces to adapt for annual Christmas performances. It is my hope that these arrangements will provide that capability, with less effort, to others.
(Aug. 11, 2017) — After so many years of public performance, retirement is not easy.
Last month I decided to channel my musical energies into notating the many well-loved songs I played at all kinds of events over the years, many of which have not been arranged for the harp until now.
Sometimes the process is slow and arduous, while other songs are more easily put to “paper.” My purpose is to add easy-to-learn selections to the performing harpist’s repertoire which will appeal to all audiences.
I decided to first focus on traditional Irish tunes, the first ten of which will become a collection for greater value and ease in performing. All were learned by ear from radio shows and CDs and are in the public domain.
My current catalog of selections with sound clips for each can be found here:
Some of the songs can be heard in their entirety on my YouTube channel. In print, the songs are presented in their simplest form, but advanced players can embellish them if they choose, as I did on YouTube.
After completing the book of ten Irish songs, I plan to publish a number of obscure hymns not normally played on the harp as well as my arrangements of favorite popular songs through SheetMusicPlus’s “Arrange Me” feature.
Most of these selections were arranged upon special request by a customer, sometimes from a piano score and at other times by ear.
I never realized how much music I had until after I retired at the end of 2016, which makes the process longer rather than shorter. That might be a good thing, because while the performances may be over, the sharing of the music with others is not.
(Jun. 29, 2017) — While deciding which songs I was going to record next several weeks ago, I suddenly “heard” this song differently from the way I had played it for more than 20 years after arranging and recording it for my CD in 1998.
Because I often performed it during dinner parties and receptions, there had always been a need to “fill in” some of the empty spaces to maintain a steady undercurrent of sound. But envisioning it in a video-recording gave me the opportunity to think of it differently, with space for a more intimate listening experience.
Rearranging for a different presentation has given me a new perspective on some old, familiar favorites which I thought would never change.
Based on an arrangement by Sylvia Woods from “52 Scottish Songs for All Harps,” this song is associated with funerals in Scotland. I have played it at many types of events where quiet, introspective music was needed.
My own arrangement of the song is based on a version I heard somewhere years ago, but I can’t remember exactly where!
On January 29, I released a post with an MP3 recording taken from a CD which contained all of the selections from a 1989 demo tape.
In 1988, I resumed playing the harp after an 11-year hiatus.
Having retired in December from a 28-year run as a freelancer, I wanted to see if at age 59 I could relearn, memorize and record some of the same pieces from that 1989 demo tape.
An added challenge is my neck injury, which prevents me from practicing hours and hours each day.
However, after approximately six weeks of practice, the piece, one of my favorites, is released again today using modern technology and with the gracious permission of Vanderbilt Music Company, which publishes it.
One of the wonderful things about this piece is that after four days of dreary and wet weather here, it makes me dream of sunny Spain.
I hope you enjoy it.
A LITTLE EARLY
by Sharon Hanjian Rondeau, March 8, 2017
I am still very much a novice at making YouTube videos, but here is an all-time Irish favorite.