Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

My daughter is a beginner Irish dancer and a beginner harp player. She would like to learn to play either a beginner reel, light jig or single jig on her harp because she knows how to do those Irish dances. So I’m trying to find easy sheet music that would fit one of those types of tunes. To complicate the scenario she would actually like to perform at her school both playing the harp and then dancing, so I need a tune that has sheet music that she can learn on her harp and is also available to download the audio for her to dance along to. Any advice for names of tunes that have both beginner level sheet music available and an audio file to download?

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Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

How is she learning to play the harp? If she has a teacher then ask him/her. Otherwise, I would look for a decent Irish Harp method book and in there their will probably be a number of tunes geared towards the beginning harpist.

Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

The Sylvia Woods harp book [ISBN 978-0936661421] has Trip to Sligo on page 46 which might be a starting point for a light jig. The tune is also on this site - https://thesession.org/tunes/397 but without the harp fingering which is in Sylvia’s book.

Be aware that it might be a big task for your daughter to be able to play a jig on the harp at the right speed for the dance.
The various YouTube videos that are around seem to take about 33 seconds for 32 bars which is MM=116 which is a fair lick on the harp.

I agree with Steve to ask your daughter’s harp teacher.

Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

I have chatted it over with her teacher who doesn’t know anything about Irish dancing and isn’t really focused on Celtic harp… she does more classical, medieval music. She suggested learning a simple slow tune like an air on the harp as an intro and then she can pick whatever recording she wants to dance a reel or a jig to. Because yes, it’s hard for a beginner to learn a fast jig on the harp! Thanks for the suggestions!

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Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

Gráinne Hambly in County Mayo, Ireland and Rebekah Passmore in Texas both have excellent beginner lever harp tutorials published that have lots of good yet simple arrangements of reels and jigs. If you can’t find the Rebekah Passmore books on-line, send me a private message here, and my wife can get them for you (she is good friend of Rebekah’s).

You can buy Gráinne’s books from her web site:
http://grainnehambly.com/

Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

Maybe "Rakes of Mallow" would work as an easy reel!

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Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

IIRC Sylvia Woods has a number of Celtic harp books available. Another harpist that I’ve played on the same bill with before (many years ago) is Therese Honey. You might want to check out her book "Honey’s Celtic Harp Book, Volumes I, II and III" by Therese Honey and Larry Mallette.

Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

Sylvia Woods” Irish Tune Book has a number of easy arrangements that are within the capability of a young beginner harpist. Her teacher may offer suggestions of different fingerings (I do),’but the fingerings given will work. For her current project, I would recommend playing a jig, as jigs are easier than reels to play on the harp. Tobin’s Favorite was widely used* in Irish dance classes in my day, and perhaps still is. Morrison’s Jig and The Road to Lisdoonvarna would also work well. She needn’t play the tune as quickly as it is played for dancing (that will come with experience) as long as she keeps a good steady rhythm.

Your daughter’s project is a great idea. Best wishes to her!

*widely used, as in, played over and over and over again, the same terrible recording on a tinkly synthesizer. It’s a miracle I actually like playing the tune after that.

Re: Sheet music for beginner reel, light jig or single jig

The Sylvia Woods music looks great. Good level for her. Thanks for the suggestions! Yes, a slow jig would be fine and then she can pick up the pace for dancing to the recorded music.

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