Songs of the Sea

Cool off this summer with this list of calming tunes at Harp Column Music that are inspired by the water!

(Titles marked with an * are playable on lever harp.)

Ocean-Inspired Originals

Kirsten Agresta Copely



Gary Schocker




Kirsten Agresta Copely

This arpeggio-filled piece is exactly what comes to mind when you think of calming water music. Agresta Copely says the rippling patterns of the arpeggios are meant to mimic waves hitting the shore. Download this piece to add to your gigbook or take it out when you just need a moment of calm.


Gary Schocker

Triplet patterns are used throughout this piece to resemble the flowing sense of water. Its interesting harmonies are just captivating and make you happy!


Marianne Gubri

This relaxing piece also reflects the movements of waves in its melodies, use of harmonics, and structure. This is the kind of music in which you can get “lost at sea” if you know what I mean.

Three Pieces for Harp

Alicia Grant

Each piece in this set is meditative in character inspired by both the sea and shore. It would be a beautiful addition to recital repertoire. 

The Enchanted Sea*

Kathryn Cater

If you are looking for beginning harp duets, this book is really fun! It has 10 original duets for harp or harp and melody instrument. Each piece, different in character/genre, is inspired by sea creatures and folklore. This book can be used by a teacher/student duo or with a mixed level harp ensemble. 

The Calm*

Maeve Gilchrist

This sweet little piece rings out a calming melody with beautiful Irish nuances. Gilchrist says this tune “tries to embody that transitory state of blissful stillness that can come upon the water every now and then.” This piece is also included in Gilchrist’s latest collection, The Harpweaver, which I highly recommend seeking out!

Water-Inspired Folk Songs

The Water is Wide*

arr. Jane Allen

If you do not already have this Scottish folk song in your gig book, it should be! It is such a lovely tune and is always well received by audiences. I particularly like that this version is arranged in a classical style. Its second verse has descending “waterfall” arpeggios that are just transcendent!

Caernarfon’s Ships*

arr. Meinir Heulyn

I had never heard this Welsh tune before, but instantly loved the melody. It reminds me of a beautiful but haunting melody that a siren would sing to lure in sailors. 

Over The Water*

arr. Mary Lloyd Richards

This delightful book is comprised of over twenty pieces, most of which are beautiful Celtic tunes. My favorites are “Skye Boat Song,” “Dark Isle,” and of course Mary’s original collection title piece, “Over The Water.” Many of the tunes in this book also include lyrics for those who want to sing along. 

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