Fiddlin' Around on the Harp

ALL HARPS - EASY TO LOWER INTERMEDIATE - This is a book of 19 fiddle tunes arranged for the harp and suitable for beginner and intermediate players.

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From Sharon Thormahlen: This is a book of 19 fiddle tunes arranged for the harp and suitable for beginner and intermediate players.

When Dave and I started arranging these tunes, I tried playing some harmonies while he played the melodies on the mandolin. It didn’t work on all the tunes, but with a lot of messing around and tweaking of ideas, we got some pretty good results. A solo instument can play the harmony part while you play the melody or you can play the harmony while the solo instrument plays the melody. They are just meant to be fun tunes to play with your friends.

Some might call the tunes in this collection “fiddle tunes.” These are usually defined by a tune of 32 bars, with an AA BB form or something close to that (AA BA, AA BB CC). Many “fiddle tunes” were conceived on other instruments than the fiddle, like bagpipes, horns, piano and harp. These tunes usually come down through oral (aural) traditon and most often are learned by ear. This means that the folk process figures heavily in their evolution.

You may have heard many different versions of the same tune. Sometimes the same tune may have a different name, and sometimes a different tune will have the same name. This can be very confusing. I chose the name I was most familiar with and seemed to be the most commonly used. Feel free to alter the tunes to the melody you are familier with and call them by the name that you know.

Songs include Black Nag, The Lea Rig, Hector the Hero*, Indian Point, Sailor's Hornpipe*, Merrily Kiss the Quaker, Planxty George Brabazon*, Happy Boys*, Star of the County Down, Foggy Dew, Fiddlin' Around on the Harp*, The Rakes of Mallow*, Kesh Jig, Drowsy Maggie, Si Bheag Si Mhor*, Fisher's Hornpipe, Wind that Shakes the Barley*, Coleman's March* and Carolan's Concerto.

*These tunes have harp 2 harmony parts or they can be played by a solo instrument along with the harp 1 melody part.

The keys in this book are C, Am, G, Em and D and the tunes are in the order of how many sharps the key has.


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