summer newsletter - The Harp Connection



summer newsletter - The Harp Connection
lever harp rental program:
The Harp Connection’s Original Rent-To-Own Program
Due to the cost dierence between a pedal harp and a lever harp, most
beginners start with a lever harp. Many harp teachers recommend that
their students get a lever harp that is fully levered a lever on every or
almost every string and that the harp have 3436 strings. This kind of
harp is best for a beginner as they wont have to spend time retuning
strings or making changes to their music because they have fewer
strings than a particular piece calls for. At The Harp Connection, we
have a fantastic Rental Program for both new and used lever harps to
make starting even easier.
inside this issue:
• lever harp rental program
• new string options
• artist spotlight interview: Gráinne Hambly
• featured sheet music & cds
• new newsletter information
• attention all teachers
• the harp care connection: lever harp tuning tips
• facebook
rental benefits:
We will furnish you with a new
harp of the model and finish you
request after receipt and approval
of your rental application. Your
initial rental period is four months.
At the end of the rental period, you
may elect to purchase the harp,
extend your rental or return the
harp. If you decide to buy the harp,
all of your first four months of
rental payment and security deposit
will be applied towards the
purchase price. If you decide to
extend your rental, 1/2 of your first
rental extension (up to 4 additional
months) may also be applied
towards purchase.
On occasion we
have previously
owned or rented
lever harps. These
instruments are also
available for rent,
and as always they
have undergone a
thorough evaluation
and must meet or
exceed our strict
standards of quality
before they are released.
If you need the harp to be shipped
to you, no problem, we ship
anywhere in the United States. If
you would like to purchase the harp
after rental, you pay no additional
shipping. For purchases, financing
can be arranged upon credit
Lyon & Healy Ogden
R E N TA L *
Salvi Prima 34 & Prima 38
Dusty Strings Ravenna 26 & 34
Dusty Strings Allegro & Crescendo
Triplett Christina, Zephyr & Sierra 30
Lyon & Healy Troubadour
Salvi Livia
Dusty Strings FH26, FH34 & Crescendo 34
Wm. Rees Glen Aulin & Corlieu
Triplett Axline, Sierra 34 & Sierra 36
Lyon & Healy Prelude
Salvi Ana & Egan
Dusty Strings FH36H & FH36S
Triplett Catalina, Celtic IIS, Eclipse & Signature
The Harp Connection's
lever harp rental program
features both Classic and
Celtic Lever Harps for rent
nationwide. This program
lets you limit your
investment while you try
one of our instruments.
100 of your rst four
months rent can be applied
towards the purchase price.
choosing a harp is never
easy thats why we have the
best instruments from Lyon
& Healy, Salvi, Triplett,
Dusty Strings and William
Rees available for rent.
Prices range from 50 to
80 per month,
with a minimum
four month
payable in
Security deposit
and credit
approval required.
L I S T E D N O T A L WAY S I N S T O C K . P R I C E S D O N O T I N C L U D E S H I P P I N G .
you can find Celtic harps as small as 26 strings, as large as 38
strings and many variations between.
the common thought on playing the harp is that the more strings you
have and the more levers on these strings then the more music you
can play. This is true, however there is more and more music being
written for smaller harps all the time due to the surge of interest in
Celtic harp music and harps over the last 15 years.
here, at The Harp Connection we show Celtic Harps from the best
manufacturers: Dusty Strings, Triplett and Wm Rees Instruments!
The Harp Connection is happy to announce that we have
expanded our string inventory to include Bow Brand
Burgundy Lever and Pedal Gut and Vanderbilt Nylon, as
well as Vanderbilt Tarnish Resistant Wires and Vanderbilt
Silver and Copper Wires!
The Burgundy brand of Pedal and Lever Gut strings have gone
through exactly the same manufacturing process as Bow Brand
standard Pedal Gut but have been put aside purely on aesthetic
grounds (i.e. there may be tiny particles of dust trapped within
the string which does not affect the sound or longevity at all).
The Burgundy is ideal for harp students as it gives them the
opportunity to use natural gut at an affordable price.
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 1st Octave: $4.25
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 2nd Octave: $6.50
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 3rd Octave: $8.50
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 4th Octave: $13.00
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 5th Octave: $20.00
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 1st Octave: $3.00
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 2nd Octave: $5.00
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 3rd Octave: $7.00
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 4th Octave: $11.00
o Burgundy Pedal Gut 5th Octave: $16.00
o As always octave sets are 10% off!!!
Vanderbilt Nylon and Vanderbilt Wires have been an industry
standard in the harp world for many years. The Harp
Connection is pleased to be able to offer these fantastic quality
(and fantastically priced!) strings to our customers.
o Vanderbilt Pedal Nylon 1st Octave: $1.25
o Vanderbilt Pedal Nylon 2nd Octave: $1.60
o Vanderbilt Pedal Nylon 3rd Octave: $2.00
o Vanderbilt Pedal Nylon 4th Octave: $3.00
o Vanderbilt Pedal Nylon 5th Octave: $5.00
o All Vanderbilt Pedal Wires (Tarnish-Resistant,
Silver, and Copper from any Octave) are just
$9.50 each!
o And….As always all Octave sets are 10% off!!!
Gráinne Hambly
your name is unique compared
to what we are typically used
to. How do you pronounce
your name?
Gráinne is an Irish name, and is
pronounced something like
'Grawn-ya'. I get called all sorts
of things though, including
do you play any other
instruments? If yes, which was
your first?
When I was about 5 years old, I
started to play Irish music on the
tin whistle (which would
typically be the first instrument
children start on in Ireland), as
well as classical music on
piano. I tried other instruments
like fiddle and flute, but never
really took to them. Then when I
was 11 I heard someone playing
a concertina and decided that was
what I wanted to play. I really
liked the sound and everything
about it. So that became my
main instrument, and I still play
did you ever think you would
be a professional?
what led you to want to play No, I never would have imagined
the harp and how old were doing this professionally. It just
sort of happened by accident,
Actually, it never even occurred after a series of chance meetings
to me to play the harp! When my and invitations, and now I've
younger sister Róisín (who plays been doing it full-time for 8
on my first CD) was 7 years old, years.
she saw a harp in a shop window
and started to pester my parents
tell us about your first main
about wanting to play one. My
harp teacher?
father found out about a summer As I mentioned, I started the harp
school being run by Janet
at a course run by Janet
Harbison, where you could rent a Harbison. She was living in
harp to try it out. So my parents Belfast at the time, which was
booked myself and my two
quite a distance from Mayo (my
sisters in for the week, as a
home county), so I didn't manage
surprise. I was nearly 15 years
to have regular weekly
old at the time, and when I found lessons. But I used to go to
out, I wasn't too enthusiastic. I
weekend courses she held in
had never seen or heard a harp
various parts of Ireland every
being played, and couldn't
few months.
Janet was the
imagine what it would be
founder and director of the
like. But, within the first few
Belfast Harp Orchestra, and after
minutes of trying it, I loved
a couple of years I became a
it. We bought a harp at the end
I played with the
of the week, and that was it!
orchestra for a number of years,
and that was a wonderful
do you come from a musical experience. Now Janet is based
family or background?
in Limerick, where she runs the
My father plays a bit on the Irish Harp Centre.
fiddle, and my mother's father cont...
and uncle played Irish music and
sang. Most importantly though,
my parents really enjoy Irish
music, and we went to a lot of
festivals, summer schools and
sessions as a family when I was
growing up, as well as listening
to and playing music at home.
THE HARP CONNECTION NEWSLETTER what types of things from that take time as well. Up until a few
teacher stayed with you over years, I used to do all the tour
the years?
organising myself, but now I
have an agent in the USA, Kathy
Janet developed a style of
DeAngelo (who also plays and
teaching by ear, which was
traditionally the way Irish music teaches harp), which makes life
much easier. She is also a great
was passed on. Her method of
help in looking after CD and
teaching had a big influence on
my own teaching approach. She book orders over there, which
would be hard for me to do from
was also a very inspirational
teacher and personality, and
encouraged her students to
explore all areas of Irish harp
repertoire, from the older tunes to
dance music. I also learned a lot
about performing and touring,
from my years with the Belfast
Harp Orchestra.
how often do you practice or
would like to practice?
tours. For example, for the past
3 years I've done a Christmas
tour in the US with the Irish band
Teada. This past December we
had 16 concerts in Arizona,
California, Nevada and also the
East Coast. There were 5
musicians, a singer and 2
dancers. So that tour was very
different from my next one,
which is an East Coast tour in
March with William Jackson,
doing workshops and
concerts. In May I'll be doing a
10-concert tour of Ireland, with
an uilleann piper and sean nós
singer (that's the traditional style
of unaccompanied singing in the
Irish language). And after that
I'm going to Japan for a few
weeks, where I'll be playing with
a local couple who play Irish
music on flute and
concertina. Every tour is
different really, which is part of
what makes it interesting!
That's a difficult question! It
varies a lot. When I'm on tour, I
don't really get a chance to
practice at all. But if I'm at home
and working on a particular
what does being a professional project, like a new CD, then I
harpist involve?
might practice for a few hours a
There are two sides to my work - day. Or if I have a tour coming
performing and teaching, and I
up with other musicians, then
really enjoy both. In my case,
that involves more practice and
being a professional harper
rehearsals. I think with Irish
involves a lot of travelling,
music it's important not to overbecause most of the work I do is practice the tunes, or they can do you ever find this schedule
outside of Ireland, in the USA,
lose the spontaneous feel that's so difficult to keep up with?
Europe or Japan. On tour I
much part of the music.
Yes, all the time! Actually, this
mainly give concerts, workshops
year I am trying to spend more
and lecture-recitals, and when
based on your tour schedule time at home in Ireland, because
I'm at home in Ireland I also give posted on your website you
all the traveling gets exhausting
private lessons, as well as
look to be very busy! What after a while. And as you can
playing at some weddings and
does your day/month/year imagine, traveling with a harp is
events like that. During the
during a typical tour look like not much fun.
summer I teach at a number of
for you?
festivals and summer schools, in
Ireland and further
play with different groups - solo,
afield. Things like sending out
as a duo with Scottish harper
orders for CDs and books,
William Jackson, and then with
replying to emails, organising
various other artists for specific
things, and booking flights all
music & cds:
Jo Morrison - The Three Musics,
CD - $20
A lovely recording including some
unusual and very beautiful tunes. Jo
Morrision did almost all the
arrangements; she incorporates one
Gráinne Hambly - Between the
other instrument to accompany her
Showers, CD - $15
skillful harp playing on most tracks.
Irish tunes both ancient and modern Sounds of bagpipes, flute, strings,
in traditional style are played with
or hammered dulcimer add to the
great skill by Hambly, who obviously recording without overpowering the
has this music in her blood; she
harp. There is even a harp duet with
plays with great emotional depth
Sue Richards. The title refers to the
and conviction. All arrangements are three types of music traditional celtic
hers but "The Song of the Books",
harpers played, the music of mirth,
done by her teacher, Janet
sorrow and sleep. Recorded on a
Harbison. All tracks are solo except Dusty Strings FH36 and a Stoney
"The Golden Ring", a harp duo with End double strung harp.
sister Roisin and the title track
where she is joined by the
Jo Morrison - The Three Musics,
composer on guitar.
sheet music - $15
Extensive collection of Scottish
celtic harp tunes covering the three
Gráinne Hambly - Golden Lights
genres recognized by ancient celtic
and Green Showers, CD - $15
harpers - the music of mirth, the
One of the most sought after
music of sorrow, and the music of
performers on the Irish harp today,
Grainne Hambly presents an album sleep. Jo Morrison provides notes
of traditional Irish tunes arranged for on each piece as well as lyrics,
where applicable. All pieces can be
solo Irish (gut strung) harp. Her
performances demonstrate a highly played as solo lever harp pieces,
but parts for additional instruments
crafted technique at the service of
are included on selected pieces.
richly evocative interpretations of
Wayne Morrison provided the
this ancient but still evolving
bagpipe parts, complete with
ornamentation. Harp part is
Gráinne Hambly - The Thorn Tree, arranged at the intermediate level.
CD - $15
This is Grainne's third solo harp CD Laurie Rasmussen - The Dawning
of traditional Irish dance music, slow of the Day, CD - $15
Arrangements of celtic music for
airs and pieces from the 17th and
lever harp, cello and flute. Very
18th century harp repertoire.
calming and beautifully recorded.
Gráinne Hambly - Traditional Irish Laurie plays a Dusty Strings FH 36
B on this CD.
Music, Volume 1, sheet music $15
This book of Irish music includes
many of the arrangements from
Grainne Hambly's CD Between the
Gráinne Hambly - Traditional Irish
Music, Volume 2, sheet music $15
This book of Irish music includes
many of the arrangements from
Grainne Hambly's CD Golden Lights
and Green Showers.
don’t forget to go to our “Specials”
page for sale items and “New
Products” page for newly arrived
harp music and accessories!!
Laurie Rasmussen - The Dawning
of the Day, sheet music - $15
Collection of splendid Celtic tunes some traditional, some original, and
of course a bit of O'Carolan. The
pieces are geared towards a lever
harp, and the difficult level varies. A
few of the pieces are quick moving
in a lush, full arrangement. Others
are slower and lyrical, and have a
thinner, more ethereal texture. Most
are at a standard intermediate level.
Lovely, varied collection.
THE HARP CONNECTION NEWSLETTER do you get nervous before your arrangements are well
public performances?
thought out and beautiful.
Not really, although I used to get do you also write original
nervous playing in competitions music? If so, do you have
any advice for people who
when I was younger. Now I
would like to write their own
generally just get a little bit
music as well?
nervous, which I think is good
because it helps me to focus and I'm glad you like my
play better. I do get very nervous arrangements. I have composed
when I'm playing at harp a couple of original pieces, but I
festivals though, at the thought of wouldn't really consider myself a
playing in front of so many harp composer. So, I wouldn't be the
best person to give advice on that
side of things.
do you have any advice for
people who get nervous who has inspired or
influenced you?
playing publicly?
I have been inspired by many
Well, I suppose the main thing
traditional musicians who play
would be, to remember that
mistakes always sound worse to other instruments like fiddle,
uilleann pipes or concertina. And
the person playing than to the
playing the concertina has had a
audience. In fact, the audience
huge influence on my harp
might not even notice a wrong
note, unless you draw attention to playing style, in particular how I
approach Irish dance tunes. I
it, by making a face! And,
think to some extent, every
always keep going, no matter
musician you play with or listen
what. I think it's better to play
to influences you in some
with conviction, even if
way. In terms of harp players, it
everything isn't fully the way
you'd like it to be, than to sound would be hard to name just a
few. I enjoy listening to lots of
hesitant. I also find it helps to
different styles and types of
focus on just playing for
yourself, and not worrying about music.
what other people will think. Of
course it's important to be well
prepared, and comfortable with
what you're playing. But if you
enjoy what you're doing, that's
more important than every note
being perfect.
is there anything else you
would like tell us about
what the harp means to
I just feel very lucky that I am
able to make my living doing
something I love, which is,
playing the harp and sharing that
music with others.
The Harp Connection would
like to thank Gráinne for this
wonderful and insightful
interview – Best wishes and
thanks, again! – THC Staff
*for more information on
Gráinne Hambly’s sheet
music and CDs go to:
tell us something that most
people probably wouldn't
know about you.
When I get the chance, I really
enjoy horseback riding and
skiing. Although I've been so
busy for the last while, it's been
hard to fit in anything like that.
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MUST have
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Help us to help you by
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Upcoming Workshops at The Harp Connection!
Lever Harp Care 101 & Pedal Harp Care 101
Please email Rachael at [email protected]
for more information!!
Our staff is committed to
excellence and we are
constantly striving to improve
our service to meet your needs
and the needs of your
the harp care connection: lever harp tuning tips
Tuning a harp can often be a little intimidating at first, but with practice, it becomes easier and easier. There are also
some really important things to keep in mind that often get forgotten, or not learned in the first place, in order to not
cause any damage to the strings or harp.
When tuning the lever harp, always make sure the lever is not engaged. Tuning while the lever is holding the string is
bad for both the string and the lever; it pulls the string over the surface of the lever, wearing it down, and can also
push the lever out of position.
Most people simply tune their lever harp in the key of C major when beginning the harp. This means each string is
tuned to its natural pitch, C natural, D natural, etc. When you start to need other key signatures, it is popular for lever
harpists to tune to the key of E flat, which means the B, E, and A string will all be tuned one half step lower than their
natural pitch, to B flat, E flat, and A flat, (although often the tuning aid registers the note as A#, D#, and G#).
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