Welsh folk music recommendations

Posted In: Amateur Harpists

  • Participant
    Emma Jane Ireland on #155658

    Hi all, I have just been learning to play my lever harp for two months, and loving it! I have worked through the Sylvia woods first book and bought her Irish folk songs book which is lovely. But as a welsh girl I would love to learn some welsh folk songs, but am having trouble finding a lot of music out there, and am not sure of the difficulty levels of those that I have seen. Does anyone have any recommendations ? Thanks x

    Participant
    unknown-user on #155659

    The first ones that come to mind are “The Ash Grove” and “All through the Night” – another Welsh tune that is an all time favorite of mine is the tune “Aberystwyth” which has been used as one of the hymn settings for “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” – it is a lovely and quite powerful melody –

    Wikipedia has quite an interesting entry on Welsh music

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #155660

    The first Sunday in March is when many Welsh people in the U.S. celebrate Saint David’s Day, patron Saint of Wales. If you are in a city like mine, there may be a Welsh women’s group, a Welsh Chorus, and so on. If you go to one of these events, with a little notebook, you’ll surely be able to write down titles of beloved Welsh songs. “Land of My Fathers” (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau) would be an important one to be able to play. This and many other melodies with words are in the book: Favorite Welsh and English Hymns and Melodies, This is published by The National Gymanfa Ganu Association of the United States and Canada. Lighter music is in “A Choice Collection of Fifty-one Welsh Airs adapted for the Harp, Piano. Harpsichord, Violin, or Flute by Edward Jones. This is available from Adlais(music printing company)

    Member
    jennifer-buehler on #155661

    http://www.harp.com has several collections but I would say that none of them are geared at beginners level.

    Participant
    e-nb on #155662

    Have a browse through Aldais music www.adlaismusicpublishers.co.uk/

    They stock a large ammount of Welsh harp music. One I particularly like is http://www.adlaismusicpublishers.co.uk/pages/scores/S005

    Participant
    Emma Jane Ireland on #155663

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for your replies, they are very helpful! I had not come across adlais before, but it seems perfect. The only thing I am confused about is that the book of welsh airs seems to have a lot in E flat, I don’t know how to do flats, would I have to retune my harp? I don’t fancy that as all the other books I have are simple to use as in c or just a few sharps so I can set the levers to play. Would it be easier to get the book and just transpose into an easier key?

    I have stumbled on a real gem that I would highly recommend to you guys if you love welsh music, my favourite all time welsh piece is myfanwy, and there is a lovely version by this publisher arranged by meinir heulyn, I have bought this and it’s not easy for me but one to work at! Just beautiful though

    Thanks for yor help guys, I’m glad to have found you xx

    Participant
    e-nb on #155664

    Ah! Is your harp tuned in C? A lot of folks tune in Eb which is why so many of these tunes are in Eb. Yeah, you would either have to re-tune your harp, or transpose the tunes.

    If you decide to re-tune, just tune your B, E and A strings to Bb, Eb and Ab. If your harp is fully levered, then you can play anything from 3 flats to 4 sharps. If your harp is partially levered, it gets a bit complex

    Good luck!

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