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Music for your small 19-string harp

One of my favorite things about summer is grabbing my little 19-string harp and walking down to the lake to play outside. I built my Waring cardboard harp from a kit 8 or 9 years ago. I painted it blue and decorated it with dragonflies. Barely 2 pounds, this is the perfect grab-and-go summertime harp.

Walking with a small harp

But there is the challenge (and maybe frustration) of finding music that suits a small harp like this. Mine has 19 strings and goes down to the G below Middle C and it has no levers. I decided to retune my F strings to F sharp, which puts the harp in G Major. That way I'm highlighting the best-sounding low strings in the pieces I choose to play.

There are plenty of pieces in the Music Discoveries Shop that were created for 19+ strings! In this blog post I'll give you a quick guide to help you choose music that suits you and your small harp.

Did you know that several of my large harp solos come with a BONUS version for 19 strings? Here's a video of 3 pieces that you may have thought needed a large harp. But guess what, the sheet music includes a BONUS small harp version! 

The video below features the following three intermediate solos:

  1. SUNLIGHT THROUGH THE TREES
  2. ARRAN BOAT SONG
  3. THE SPARROW

If you're a beginner, the SMALL HARP LEARNING BUNDLE is an excellent choice. It includes technique warm-ups, a note identification worksheet plus the following three solos.

  1. In Time
  2. Scarborough Fair
  3. Bluebells

SWEET BLESSINGS is a popular choice for elementary players. The C Major version is for 25+ strings, but use the BONUS G Major version on your very small harp. This piece uses simple left hand patterns, basic finger placing and comfortable coordination to help you feel successful and expressive at the harp.

If you enjoy playing your small harp at a nursing home, the residents will love hearing the OLD-TIME FAVORITES MEDLEY, which includes Bicycle Built for Two, The Band Played On and Let Me Call You Sweetheart.

Another useful collection is the 5 EASY HYMNS. Learn them all and create a beautiful medley of familiar hymn tunes including: 

  1. Be Thou My Vision
  2. Come, Thou Almighty King
  3. Holy, Holy, Holy
  4. This Is My Father's World
  5. What a Friend We Have in Jesus

If you enjoy playing familiar melodies, but you want a more advanced arrangement start with the medley of THE WATER IS WIDE & SUO GAN. This slow, calming arrangement is a lovely choice for harp therapy repertoire. Or explore LIGHT OF MORNING, which is based upon the beautiful melody, Morning Has Broken.

The collection of 7 TRADITIONAL TUNES is a popular choice for small harp players. These early intermediate arrangements include fingering and brackets. The download includes the following 7 favorite tunes:

  1. Early One Morning
  2. Skye Boat Song
  3. Annie Laurie
  4. Eleanor Plunkett
  5. Bridget O'Malley
  6. Southwind
  7. Garryowen

Maybe you're dreaming of Christmas. The set of EASY CHRISTMAS CAROLS comes with two versions: C Major for 25+ strings and G Major for 19+ strings. These are comfortable for beginners to play and include the following 3 carols:

  1. What Child is This
  2. Silent Night
  3. The First Noel

If you're a more a seasoned player, you'll love the bright and nimble arrangement of BRING A TORCH & GOOD CHRISTIAN MEN REJOICE.

I hope this guide provides inspiration if you are looking for music to play on your small harp. Enjoy!

- Anne

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