Tired of exercises and etudes? In a holiday mood? Try these pieces to lift your spirits and your technique at the same time!All the music is available on the usual harp music sites, with the exception of my arrangement of “Still, Still, Still,” which you will find here.
All the easy and intermediate music is playable on lever or pedal harp, except for the Renie “Angelus,” which is pedal harp only.
English Traditional/Milligan: Greensleeves. In the “Medieval to Modern Collection, vol. 2,” this standard piece is presented in a pleasing arrangement with just enough chords and arpeggios to make it worth your while.
Marzuki: The Christmas Harpist. These arrangements are not all easy, but they are interesting to learn and play. Plus, they include quite a number of lever changes, making this book a fun way to improve your lever technique.
Traditional German/Paret: Snowing. Betty Paret’s simple harp duo (or harp and piano) arrangement of this lovely song is a must for any harpist who wants some arpeggio practice. A favorite of harpists, and included in her collection “Duos Plus, vol. 1.”
Woods: Fifty Christmas Carols for All Harps. The definitive collection with easy and intermediate arrangements of each carol. Perfect for building repertoire or reading skills, or just learning harp basics.
Austrian carol/Sullivan: Still, Still, Still. This reflective carol is perfect for any quiet setting, like a church service, or for any holiday gathering. My arrangement has a left hand arpeggiated bass line, and adds a right hand countermelody that teaches independence of the hands.
Blake/Krimmel: Walking in the Air. This beautiful hit from Blake’s animated short “The Snowman” is adapted for harp solo, harp duo or harp with other instruments or voice. A holiday favorite with lots of left hand arpeggios and right hand sixths. Also great for practicing phrasing and legato.
Murray/Voltz: Away in a Manger (new version). In this updated version which is more suited to lever harps, Frank Voltz puts his unique jazzy style on an old favorite. Great for working on those rich jazz chords.
Renie: Angelus. Not really Christmas, but definitely captures the magic and stillness of the season’s quiet moments. Left hand harmonics and glisses involving pedal changes stretch your skills. From “Feuillets d’’Album.”
Woods: Winter Bells. This is a Sylvia Woods original composition that evokes the holiday sounds of bells. The repeated right hand pattern is great for practicing independent and coordinated finger action.
Kanga: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Get your jazz groove on with this fun arrangement. Lots of practice in the jazz-waltz idiom, plus the pedal fun that goes with jazz chord changes. In her collection “All-Time Jazz Favourites.”
Salzedo: Concert Variations on “O Tannenbaum.” Six variations on this familiar carol that are more fun than the Conditioning Exercises and almost as good for you. By the way, the Salzedo Christmas Collection has a great selection of carol arrangements, including other sets of variations. You may like “Deck the Halls” or “Good King Wenceslas.”
Zabel: Christmas Pastorale. A lovely concert etude with a Christmas title. A study in right hand double note chords. Only for the intrepid!
NOTE: If you would like a FREE copy of my 2012 carol arrangement Pat-a-pan, you will find it here at the Harpmastery blog.