Harp players

Harp players

Hello everybody.
I play celtic harp, and I would like to know if there are more people here who play harp. If so, what tunes do you usually play when you are playing alone?
Thanks🙂

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Re: Harp players

I think the *longest* harp thread we’ve had is here: https://thesession.org/discussions/5809

I own a harp, but haven’t really had it in my possession (it always seems to be off on loan) long enough to really learn how to play it. Right now I have three harps in my living room because mine is temporarily back and my roommate Beth plays harp.

Re: Harp players

Hi Tari--yeah about 3 weeks ago we really talked harp around here. Anyway, I play mostly dance tunes, and some O’Carolan tunes. I see from your bio that you play electric harp--that’s cool! I play a Dusty Strings FH 32 and also a Dusty Strings FH 26. I also have a Triplett 25 string wire harp that I am trying to sell, even though it is beautiful, I just don’t play it…

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Re: Harp players

It is great knowing more harp players. In Spain you can count with your hands fingers the number of harpist. I have a Salvi Livia and an electric baby blue from Camac (the first with metallic levers 🙂), but I only play the electric one. I am used to it, and the distance betwwen strings is diferent from Camac to Salvi, so when I try to play the Salvi, it is more difficult.
I ill look the link. Thanks

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Re: Harp players

oooo….my new harp is getting the metal camac levers! they’re amazing! My new starsich mamore is being made as i type, and its going to be the first one they make with the camac levers. They’re swapping over to camac levers from the loveland ones they used. They’re way better like.

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Re: Harp players

Hi Tari,
Since nobody has answered your tunes question yet, I’ll jump into that one. ;)

When I’m alone I play whatever comes to my fingers. It depends a lot according to mood. Right now I’m often playing slow airs and laments, to help work out some fingering and chording issues. Putting a lot of time into Blind Mary (working on a set of chords that play with descending tones). Also often playing Amhran na Leabhar, several Shetland tunes including Da Slockit Light and Da Auld Restin Chair, and Will Harmon’s tune Bang Your Frog on the Sofa. The last one was written as a reel but makes a great melancholy slow air on the harp, and Will’s a good sport about it. ;)

Re: Harp players

Hi Tari,

Good question--we didn’t get into this on the other thread! I’m interested to know what other people like to play as well.

I play a lot of dance tunes but I definitely go thru phases with favorite tunes. I tend to concentrate nowadays on tunes that I haven’t heard anyone do on harp before. Faral O‘Gara, Are You Ready Yet, Siobhan O’Donnell’s, Trip to Dingle (a fantastic polka), Fleur de Mandragore (yes, with the lever flips!) and the Wonder Hornpipe (more lever flips) are some things I’ve been playing a lot recently. I’m sure there’s stuff I’m forgetting about, but these seem to be in the current “phase.”

Anyone else got favorite slow airs? I’m looking for some new ones…gonna take a look at Will’s tune, for sure.

Re: Harp players

Hi Tari and all!
I play a 30 string Denwar lever harp from Australia. It’s the biggest harp that I can fit in the back seat of my car.
A couple slow ones that I play are “Sunset over Ayr” and “ Southwinds”. Love just about any O’Carolan tune. I am working hard on playing faster tunes in session. Hornpipes are fun with a good right hand going. Is it just me, or is it very difficult to play at a very fast tempo in session? Often I have to give up one hand or the other depending if I’m working on melody line or chords. Doesn’t matter as it is all fun! Good job on those lever flips ostrichfeathers!

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Tari, when I’m playing alone, I enjoy playing some of the old harp music. Such as: Open the Door Softly, Brian Boru’s March, Lord Mayo, Rory O’More (March of the King of Laois), The Chanter’s Tune. And this one, that I just posted: Love, Lie Beside Me.
https://thesession.org/tunes/4303

Carolan stuff as well--a recent obsession is Mabel Kelly, a really great air.

I have learned some of these from the great Grainne Yeats album, The Belfast Harp Festival.
https://thesession.org/recordings/1466

Also, I enjoy playing a few dance tunes, like the great set dance, The Drunken Gauger.

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What tunes? Just about whatever I play on fiddle is fair game for harp if I love it, I’ll transfer it over. There are too many to list, but as far as current favorites go:

Hornpipes: Cooley’s/Tailor’s Twist, The Home Ruler

Reels: Gravel Walk, Pigeon on the Gate, Come West Along the Road, Castle Kelly.

Jigs: Walls of Liscarroll, I Buried My Wife, Cliffs of Moher, Haunted House, Crabs in the Skillett

As Far as O’Carolan tunes go, I’ve been polishing up Carolan’s Concerto.

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