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Performer Guides: Harp

Use this guide to find resources for music performance, including LC call number browsing ranges for repertoire, books, and journals..

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Finding Repertoire for the Harp:

If you're looking for new repertoire to perform, it is often helpful to browse the Music Library's scores. The following call number ranges are for harp music; individual works within these numbers are arranged alphabetically by composer or arranger:

M115-119, Harp alone
M272-M273, Harp and piano
M292-M293, Duets, two plectral instruments
M294-M295, Duets, with one string instrument
M296-M297, Duets, with one wind instrument
M1036, Harp with orchestra (full score)
M1037, Harp with orchestra (piano reduction)
M1136, Harp with string orchestra (full score)
M1137, Harp with string orchestra (piano reduction)

Etudes and instructional materials are classified in the MT range and housed in the same location as books about music (MLs):

  • MT540 - General Works
  • MT542 - Systems and Methods
  • MT545 - Studies and Exercises
  • MT546 - Orchestral Studies

Digital Score Apps:

The Wilson Music Library provides Blair students, faculty, and staff with free access to nkoda and Henle through our subscription. Follow the instructions below to start using these popular apps today.

Selected Books on the Harp and Harpists:

Harps and Harpists

Revising her classic 1989 book Harps and Harpists, Roslyn Rensch expands her authoritative history of this timeless instrument. This lavishly illustrated edition, with 137 black-and-white images and 24 color plates, surveys the progress of the harp from antiquity to the present day. The new edition includes two new chapters; an extensive bibliography and index; personal anecdotes of the author's studies under Alberto Salvi; and an appendix on the Roslyn Rensch Papers and Harp Collection, which are housed at the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

Pentacle: the Story of Carlos Salzedo and the Harp

Carlos Salzedo, (1885-1961), was one of the seminal harpists of the twentieth century. Born in France, he came to American in 1909 to play under Toscanini at the Metropolitan Opera. A man of prodigious talent, he went on to radically change the image of the instrument and its capabilities. His compositions for the harp have become standards of the repertoire. A renowned teacher, he started the harp department at the Curtis Institute of Music. His many students have gone on to principal positions in the leading American orchestras and to teach at conservatories, colleges and universities throughout the country. But Salzedo's interests and influence went beyond the harp itself, as he was at the forefront of the post WW I contemporary music scene in New York City.This account, written by Salzedo's student and colleague Marietta Bitter, recounts his remarkable life story. She gives us the fascinating details of his professional and personal life, as well as the kind of intimate detail only possible from a close friend who was herself an eye witness to many of the events she describes. An indispensable book for those interested in the history of the harp, it will also fascinate readers looking to expand their understanding of the development of our American classical music scene.

Harp Music in the Nineteenth Century

Translation of Hans Joachim Zingel (1904-1978), Harfenmusik im 19. Jahrundert.

The Indispensable Harp

A musical instrument that has played a vital role in Latin American music cultures--the harp--is the subject of this new work, the first study of its kind to be published in English. John Schechter presents a history of the harp in Spain, traces its introduction into colonial Latin America, and describes its modern roles in the diverse cultural centers of Mexico, Paraguay-Argentina-chile, Venezuela, and Peru. He then turns his focus to his own field research in the Quichua culture of northern highland Ecuador, an area that has receive considerably less scholarly attention than many of its Latin American neighbors. The reader will meet a community of harp maistrus on the slopes of Mt. Cotacachi and become familiar with their culture, their particular instrument and its tuning, and their performance practices. Numerous photographs, musical transcriptions, and diagrams illustrate and enliven the text. The Indispensable Harp is unique for its integration of aspects of music and cultural history, organology, and performance practice, treating in considerable depth both broadly established music-ethnographical practices. It speaks to the conclusion that the vital role of the harp in Latin American music history has now been properly acknowledged and documented.

Mario Barradas and Son Jarocho: The Journey of a Mexican Regional Music

Son Jarocho was born as the regional sound of Veracruz but over time became a Mexican national genre, even transnational, genre--a touchstone of Chicano identity in the United States. Mario Barradas and Son Jarocho traces a musical journey from the Gulf Coast to interior Mexico and across the border, describing the transformations of Son Jarocho along the way. This comprehensive cultural study pairs ethnographic and musicological insights with an oral history of the late Mario Barradas, one of Son Jarocho's preeminent modern musicians. Chicano musician Francisco González offers an insider's account of Barradas's influence and Son Jarocho's musical qualities, while Rafael Figueroa Hernández delves into Barradas's recordings and films. Yolanda Broyles-González examines the interplay between Son Jarocho's indigenous roots and contemporary role in Mexican and US society. The result is a nuanced portrait of a vital and evolving musical tradition.

Harp Fingering Fundamentals: How to Add Finger Markings to Un-Fingered Harp Music

(Harp). "Sylvia Woods has done it again! Harp Fingering Fundamentals is a must for every teacher and student. It clearly and concisely shows how to approach harp fingerings in her accessible and charming style. It will be a staple in my studio and should be in your collection, too." Felice Pomeranz, Professor of Harp, Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA "Chock-full of common-sense suggestions on fingering from the simplest to the trickiest passages. A real boon for do-it-yourself harp players, and good ideas even for experienced players on how to make the unplayable playable." Joyce Rice, harp instructor