Traditional Beginnings for The Harp
This book grew out of a real need. Cynthia teaches the wire strung harp, and was frustrated at the lack of repertoire books available. Sometimes she was obliged to scribble out arrangements for her students on manuscript paper during their lessons.
It had not occurred to her that this might also be a problem for other players until she performed at the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games in the summer of 2000, where she met harp teacher Therese Honey. She expressed the same frustration to Cynthia and said, "you are one person who can do something about it!" Cynthia took the challenge.
The resulting book is an easy and progressive collection of recognizable melodies arranged for wire strung and small harps. These are tunes that Cynthia learned during her childhood in the Eastern United States. While no promise can be made that all the tunes will be familiar to harpers in Texas, Scotland, Canada, or even to someone who grew up in the next town over, hopefully many of them will be recognizable. It is hoped that harpers can spend time learning to play the tunes rather than spend priceless hours learning how the tunes go.
Basic wire harp techniques are introduced. Gapped scales are introduced and discussed throughout the book. For harps with 15 or more strings. (The pieces were arranged on an Ardival Kilcoy clarsach, a 19-string brass wire lap harp.) Lyrics and histories are included, and there is a section with practice drills. A bibliography completes the book.