At Causeway Harp School, we learn to play the harp using the traditional aural method of teaching and learning. This is a highly effective and rewarding way to learn as pupils can play their first tunes within the first couple of weeks. Pupils play tunes from memory and learn to develop their own individual style of playing. Pupils play ‘musically’ from the beginning and are not tied to notes on a page!
However, I recognise the importance of musical literacy in developing independent musicians. I want my pupils to also learn to read music so they can access printed music for themselves; this is what inspired me to put our harp music down on paper!
I am very excited to share these books with the world. Each book has a particular focus. Volume 1 is a collection of music for small harps, suitable for the beginner-lower intermediate player; Volume 2 is for full size harp and is suitable for the intermediate player; Volume 3 is for intermediate-advanced players and contains a selection of music from the ancient harp repertoire as well as some new, contemporary Irish music by composers today.
Books are available for purchase either in paperback or PDF on the shop page.
More information about individual books can be found below.
Vol 1: Traditional Irish Music for Small Harps
This book is ideal for beginning-lower intermediate harp players and are suitable for grades Step-Grade III in Traditional Irish Music.
The book contains a wide variety of Irish traditional tune types: O’Carolan, marches, airs, jigs, slip jigs, polkas, hymns and slow airs. Katy has selected tunes that sound especially beautiful on the small harp and that her pupils thoroughly enjoy playing.
There is a 20 string and 26 string arrangement of each tune, with the 26 string arrangements including some simple forms of ornamentation.
Beautiful paperback copies and PDF downloads of Volume 1 are available here on the shop page.
Vol 2: Traditional Irish Music for Harp
This book contains stylish arrangements of a wide variety of tune types: harp airs, reels, jigs, slip jigs, polkas, hornpipes and slow airs. Melodic ornamentation and accompaniment variations are included in each arrangement.
This book is suitable for intermediate players and is a useful resource for teachers and students preparing for grades IV-VI in Irish Traditional harp.
This book will help you build an authentic and stylish repertoire of authentic Irish traditional music on harp.
Beautiful paperback copies and PDF downloads of Volume 2 are available here on the shop page.
Vol 3: Ancient and Contemporary Irish Music for Harp
This is a book of music designed for intermediate-advanced harp players interested in developing a stylish and interesting repertoire of Irish traditional music, from ancient, traditional and contemporary sources.
Katy has selected some of her favourite pieces from the ancient Irish harp repertoire, namely the Bunting Collection. Hailing from Northern Ireland, this collection is of particular interest to her as it was at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792 that the young Edward Bunting transcribed the music of the harpers who attended, thus preserving the unique musical heritage of the Irish harp.
This volume also includes recent compositions by contemporary Irish traditional musicians, from the north of Ireland and Donegal. Katy loves to draw inspiration from the vibrant traditional music community performing and composing today, which is an endless source of creativity and inspiration.
This volume is a stunning collection of music, old and new. The ancient Irish harp repertoire is fused here with contemporary ‘trad’. A stylish and authentic addition to your harp repertoire.
Beautiful paperback copies and PDF downloads of Volume 3 are available here on the shop page.