Top 10: Music for Harp

July 4, 2013

To help new students of the harp find suitable repertoire for their instrument, we have compiled a list of our ten top-sellers for harp. These books are widely used by harp teachers and students alike; the list includes repertoire for both pedal and lever harps.

1. Maria Grossi: Harp Method

This classic method is our top-selling book for harp. It contains a wide range of progressive studies with helpful diagrams showing the movement of the hands. Although the text is entirely in Italian, the popularity of this method demonstrates the quality of Grossi’s material.

2. Yolanda Kondanassis: On Playing the Harp (2nd Edition)

For the student desiring a method book in English, this book by Yolanda Kondanasis is highly recommended. It contains numerous musical excersises alongside essays on good technique, use of the body, sound production, and practice habits.

3. First Grade Pieces for Harp: 17 Solos for Harp or Harp Without Pedals

This little collection is great for the young student. The pieces are arranged in progressive order, beginning with single line music and moving up gradually to introduce, at the end, parallel triads and muffling. The short pieces have themes attractive to young students (e.g. “Lullaby for Violet (Who is a Puppy)”).

4. Bernard Andres: Ribambelle for Harp (Without Pedals) or Celtic Harp

The ten short pieces that comprise this collection are suitable for the beginning student playing either pedal or lever harp. Each piece develops from a particular textural contrast between the hands just as studies are designed to work a particular technique.

5. Hymns and Wedding Music for all Harps arranged for Beginning and Advanced Harpers by Sylvia Woods

Sylvia Woods’ collection of sacred music is very useful for gigging harpists who need repertoire for weddings and similar events. All the selections in the book are presented in two arrangements: one for advanced players and one for beginners. Key changes are marked for lever harps but are suitable also for instruments with pedals.

6. Bernard Andres: Marelles for Harp (without pedals) or Celtic Harp, Book 1

This second collection of easy pieces by Bernard Andres are also suitable for either pedal or lever harp. These six works (there are twelve in total, spread over two volumes) are easier than those in Ribambelle.

7. Deborah Friou: Renaissance Music for the Harp

This little collection contains two dozen short dances and ayres drawn from the extensive repertoire of the 16th century. The styles are varied and the arrangements suitable for the beginner. Lever settings are given for folk harps. While the pieces are suitable also for pedal harps, pedal changes are not consistently indicated.

8. Samuel Milligan: Medeival to Modern: Repertoire for the Troubadour, Vol. 1

Included in this collection are selections from the 12th through 19th centuries, all of moderate difficulty and edited for the troubadour harp, a lever harp with a range of 5 octaves. Because of its large size, Lyon & Healy’s troubadour harp is capable of a broader range of repertoire than other lever harps but lacks the capabilities of the instrument with pedals. All the pieces in this collection are also suitable for the pedal harp.

9. Mildred Dilling: Thirty Little Classics for the Harp

The 30 pieces in this collection are all well-known classics of the repertoire. They are arranged for the intermediate harpist and are suitable for pedal harps. The selection includes short dance numbers, favourites for weddings, opera excerpts and a few hymns.

10. Sylvia Woods: Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp

This introductory method is designed as a self-tutor for the folk or celtic harp. The music includes extensive fingering and bracketing to help the beginner. None of the included music requires levers.
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