January 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm #112215
The same tune can sound so differently depending on how it’s arranged. I find I really like the haunting keys and simple arrangements of Dominig Bouchaud best. I’ve been playing mostly out of Panorama de la harpe celtique for the past 6 months. I also pick up Nancy Hurrell’s Historical Harp Collection and Janet Harbison’s Traditional Irish Harp Tudor vol 3. I will always love Derek Bell’s Carolan’s Receipt and sometimes dabble in Deborah Friou’s Ballads and Court Dances of the 16th and 17th centuries. I like simple uncomplicated arrangements so that the melody can shine and I think it sounds more haunting and has more of an authentic early sound.
What are your favorite traditional arrangements? I was thinking of putting these on my ‘music stand’ but it appears more geared towards the piece you are learning which can be a completely different animal depending on how it’s arranged. There is a section for the composer but again, I find a lot depends on the arrangement and was wondering what other favorites people have found that they’d like to recommend.January 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm #112216andee-craigParticipant
I’ve learned most of my music by ear but my teacher and I both love Grainne Hambly’s arrangements. I suspect my teacher is influenced by her. Simple left hand with a bit of off-beat or playing into the downbeat. I no longer take lessons but for new tunes I make up my own left hand keeping it simple and mostly on the beat. I wish I was better at syncopation.January 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm #112217
I wish I could play by ear! Even when I throw in a chord that sounds just fine but isn’t on the printed page I feel as though I’ve made a mistake. I attended a workshop with Ray Poole on improv and found music theory confusing, but have always admired people who could make traditional tunes their own.January 21, 2013 at 7:26 am #112218andee-craigParticipant
I’m really grateful for the teacher I had and for the way she taught me. I learned theory little by little as we went along. But with Irish dance tunes there aren’t *that* many things you can do chord-wise. Once you know what key it’s in (modal tunes throw a small monkey wrench into the works) you can use any other tune that you already know in that key as a guide, sort of.January 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm #112219Gretchen CoverParticipant
Deb, you may want to try The International Rhythmic Collection Vol. 1 (second edition) byt Dr. Alfredo Rolando Ortiz. It is designed to be used by all levels of harpists. On a whim, I also bought the companion CD. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I learned from the CD. The back page of the book has accompaniment patterns. It is available through Melody Folk Harp and other places that carry harp music. Dr. Ortiz’s website is http://www.alfredo-rolando-ortiz.comJanuary 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm #112220
hi Gretchen, I had forgotten Ortiz’s books. I learned Paisaje from that years ago. Thanks for reminding me of his books, they are very detailed and have both easy and hard version. I’ve always wanted to learn the advanced version of the Bell Bird in his other book Latin American Harps History, Music and Techniques..but noticed that Vol 1 has an easy version. I still have the CD, I agree it’s very helpful to get the feel of the rhythms.January 23, 2013 at 2:08 am #112221jennifer-buehlerMember
I’m a big fan of Beth Kolle’s books. A lot of open fifths and time for the bass to ring. I also like the Scandinavian pieces that she includes because the harmonies and modes are so unusual. The duets are pretty versatile as well. I’ve done them with two harps and harp and fluteJanuary 25, 2013 at 12:43 pm #112222
hi Jennifer, I just checked out Beth Kolle’s books and The Northern Folk harp has an accompanying CD. I enjoy unusual harmonies and modes, which is why I think I have been stuck on the french school sound for so long, so am looking forward to trying some of her books. I have two family members that I try to coerce into playing violin and mandolin with me and she has arrangements as you mentioned for harp and C instrument. Thanks for mentioning her books!
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