Favorite Christmas Harp Music

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    Karen Johns on #161583

    Now that the season is rapidly approaching and I am picking out Christmas music to learn, I was wondering if anyone had any favorites they would like to share? My current favorite is ‘Some Children See Him’ by Alfred Burt, arranged by Angi Bemiss. It takes me back to my childhood-my father used to play this song every Christmas on the ol’ record player (remember those?). So please feel free to share your favorites and why- let’s get the spirit going with our shared love of music :-) !



    catherine-rogers on #161584

    I always enjoy Ray Pool’s “Winter Wonderland” selections and Daniel Burton’s Christmas Carols (books 1-4) and Christmas Music (books 1-4). The arrangements lie well under the hand and many selections are pieces I’ve never found arranged for harp elsewhere. I use them every year and they are very well received.

    unknown-user on #161585

    All the Alfred Burt carols are lovely for the harp. I love Dahron Rees-Rohrback (sp?) books of Christmas music, although I can’t do them justice yet.

    Karen Johns on #161586

    Are these books suitable for lever harp? I’m always on the lookout to expand my music collection.

    helen-rudd on #161587

    I have to admit to playing xmas music from September on. My favorite music! I have so many I love but my tops are- (in no particular order)
    Christmas Present by Whitney Dobyns-Lovely, different arrangements of many xmas carols-I like all of them but LOVE Still, still still, Holly and the Ivy (fun romping version-an amazing arrangement), and o come o come emanuel

    Christmas Canon by Janet Jackson Witman

    This is a duet but I play part I alone and it sounds great-lovely blending of the first noel and Pachabel’s Canon

    All three of the xmas books by Suzanne Guldimann
    Easy but lovely with many xmas songs you can’t find elsewhere

    Both of Kim Robertson’s Xmas books

    The Huron Caorl/I wonder as I wander by Rees-Rhorbacher in the Christms classics book II

    Deborah Friou’s xmas book Yuletide Treasure (i especially love the soulin/god rest ye merry gentleman duet) and Down in Yon Forest

    Gaudete-in the 2006 New Century Harp Music Volume 1

    Mary did you know-sylvia woods version

    Native American Christmas Suite-Thom Dutton

    Arabian Dance/We Three Kings By sylvia woods

    That’s a start at least!

    brook-boddie on #161588

    One of our regular posters here, Andy Barber, has just put out a new collection of Christmas pieces in “A Harp Sings at Christmas.”

    Karen Johns on #161589

    Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions. I love Christmas music too- nothing quite gets me into the mood like listening and playing carols on the harp. I’ll have to look into these books.



    hannah-roberts on #161590

    I got Sylvia Woods’ 50 Christmas Carols for All Harps this fall and I love it, love it, love it! It’s one of her series with an easy version and a hard version of each piece. I can’t say enough good things about this book. It has practically everything I could ever want and even though I’m a beginner, I can play all of the easy versions, and it’s nice to have more complex versions to work on later on when I’ve progressed.

    Karen Johns on #161591

    I have that book too, it’s nice to have both versions back-to-back like that. The first Christmas song I learned out of that book was “The First Noel”. The easy version flowed very nicely, and is still in my Christmas repertoire.

    paul-wren on #161592

    I want to tell everyone about a piece that was brought to me this past holiday season.

    Norman Dello Joio’s The Holy Infant’s Lullaby. It is written for Piano and Medium Voice.

    This is a beautiful work and found that it works very well on the harp. I listen to a recording of it down with a piano, but I think it sounds so much better on the harp. It is not that difficult, probably in the interm area of playing.

    If you have a vocialist looking for something to do with you next season, think about this work.

    kay-lister on #161593

    I think my favorite so far is Salzedos Silent Night.

    tony-morosco on #161595

    Do you know music theory? If not then that is the best place to start. To arrange effectively it is best to have an understanding of how music works.

    There are several decent books. A good place to start is Sylvia Woods Music Theory and Arranging Techniques for the Folk Harp.

    Also The Complete Idiots Guide to Arranging and Orchestration, despite the title, is a good book. In fact all the ‘Idiots Guides’ related to music are very good. The music theory one, the solos and improvisation one and several others are good resources.

    If you have a knack you can simply ‘do it’. But for most of us there are techniques and concepts that help that have already been figured out and when learned can help greatly in putting ideas down.

    I would also suggest checking if your local community college has any courses in theory or arranging. They are fairly common courses that many colleges offer.

    barbara-fackler on #161596

    There’s a tutorial on reading lead sheets on my website that might help you get started with ideas. Look at http://www.hornandharp.com/publications/tutorial.html. There are several resources there including two tutorials, one for Three Christmas Lullabies and another that works with the Anniversary Song.


    unknown-user on #161594

    This is late for this year, but maybe next….

    I’m beginning in the middle and just starting at that. I found some lovely music for Christmas from Barbara Fackler that I was able to learn and perform in just a year. There’s a more advanced version I think I can play next year. I was able to learn “We Three Kings” by my first Christmas as a harpist and now I’m sure that I’ll never stop harping.

    It’s at her website, hornandharp.com.

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