Organizing Repertoire

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

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    Michaela Braveman on #158567

    Hi everyone,

    I am curious about how others manage and organize their musical repertoire. After 2.5 years of playing, I have finally reached a point where I need to give this some more thought (I guess this means it is a good problem to have).

    So far, I kept all my music in one binder and it makes sense to me to continue to do so. I am wavering back and forth on how to keep things organized:
    – alphabetically
    – categorically
    – chronologically (which seems to make to sense)
    – favorite pieces

    Can’t decide what makes the most sense long-term. Would you mind sharing what works for you as well as your preferred method on how to keep up your growing repertoire?


    patricia-jaeger on #158568

    Michaela, Depending on your main focus, my system may not be appropriate for you but here it is:

    Classical: Alphabetical, by composer (in heavy cartons called Bankers Boxes from Office Max, using dividers and behind each letter, as many 8 1/2″ x 11″ folders as I have music whose composers’ last names begin with that letter)

    Popular: Red folders labeled A-G, H-P, Q-Z by title of the piece

    World: Blue folder for French, Green for Irish, Yellow for Hawaii and Island, Orange for Spanish and Latin, sand color for Israel and Mid East

    jessica-wolff on #158569

    Not exactly what you meant, but I have practice books for things I’m working on on want to work on in the near future. I xerox them and encase them in transparent covers and put them in one binder. Further afield, I have folders for Anglo-American and Scottish music, Judaeo-Spanish, &c, but these are not specifically for harp.

    Seoid OC on #158570

    I like to keep mine organised by category.

    jessica-wolff on #158571

    That pile of books sounds familiar! It’s part of the reason for the binder. I’ve had music stands fall over from the weight.

    rod-c on #158572


    I followed the advice of someone here on the message board a couple of years ago. I have a 3-ring binder for my music. (Sort of like a gig binder…even though I do not do gigs.)

    I made photocopies of all the songs in my repertoire. (Yes, I know you’re not supposed to photocopy copyrighted material; but these pages are for my own use only. I am not selling the copies.) This allows me to keep my original arrangements elsewhere–on a shelf or in a drawer. Having the copies in the binder also cuts down on bulk.

    Then, I arrange the pieces in the binder by alpha order. I also have some of them in different sections–pieces I am working and pieces I want to learn eventually.

    Rod C.

    hannah-roberts on #158573

    I have a binder of mostly classical pieces I take to my lessons and work on with my teacher. These are arranged in the order I learned them and by their key signature. (It sounds so lazy not to want to flip levers, but I really love to minimize lever flipping).
    I have another binder for music I can already play or sight read easily, divided into classical, Celtic and therapeutic/healing. I also arrange it by key/key signature. I do mix up the order of the pieces in this one, but usually according to the mode they are in and their complementarity to surrounding pieces – not anything remotely as organized and thoughtful as described above 😀

    cynthy-johnson on #158574


    As the others have stated, I organize my repertoire in different binders.

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