Whether New or Old, Great Things are Happening!

Despite the hot weather and lazier days of summer, not everyone has been on vacation. There are lots of positive developments in my world, one of which I referred to in my last post.

That development has now been confirmed, and I will be announcing it as soon as it goes live.

Since April I’ve been meeting my goal of releasing one new video each month with a song I’ve arranged and made available for harpists at SheetMusicPlus.com.  Today’s video is of one of my favorite Irish songs, recorded on my CD and offered in sheet music format as both a stand-alone and in my “Ten Irish Songs for All Harps” book.

 

I also am working on an exciting new book based on old material which will be published in the fall.

My Arrangements of Popular Songs Now Available at SheetMusicPlus!

(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.

Just after Labor Day, I began work on releasing ten Christmas arrangements, two from the public domain and the remaining eight from the SheetMusicPlus “ArrangeMe” list.

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!

 

 

The Online Music Business is a Whole New World!

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.

Spotify, SoundCloud…what are these all about?

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!

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Too Early to Think About Christmas Music!

(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.

A New Direction

(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.

I have found a home for these arrangements at SheetMusicPlus.com, which has already been offering my first publication, Easy Scottish Harp Music released in 2009 by Mel Bay, for some years now.

My current catalog of selections with sound clips for each can be found here:

http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/search?Ntt=Sharon+Hanjian+Rondeau

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.