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Moonlight Sonata and Air on the G string

  • Sylvia
    Sylvia Clark

    I'm wondering if most harpists play these two pieces. 

    replies to "Moonlight Sonata and Air on the G string"
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer Buehler

      I play Moonlight Sonata regularly.  I use Deborah Friou's arrangement simply because I already own her book but Barbra Brundage also has an arrangement.   haven't ever played Air but I know that Darhon Rees Rohrbacher and Barbara Brundage have lever harp arrangements out there.  Not sure what's out there for pedal harp.


    • Jessica
      Jessica A

      I play the Bach, but the Beethoven seems too awkward with all the accidentals.

    • Lynne
      Lynne Abbey-Lee

      There is a transcription by Carlos Salzedo of the Adagio from the "Moonlight Sonata," published by Lyra Music. Lots of pedal changes, but not too difficult. People always seem to like it when I include it at a gig.

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      As a pianist first, the last thing I want to do is play that Beethoven movement on the harp. To me it's really a yucky thing....and so overdone. The Air for the G String is beautiful in it's original creation. I wouldn't want to hear it on the harp. Just me....


    • Laura
      Laura Palmieri

      I agree June! I don't know why people keep asking for Beethoven and even Chopin! It's awkward to play and it just doesn't sound right to me, but people like to hear those familiar songs like that.

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      Laura, my opinion is "Fine, then hire a pianist, or point me to the piano, but I ain't doin' that on the harp. No way."


    • Karen
      Karen Johns

      I love Moonlight Sonata- just starting to look at it on the harp. It does have a lot of accidentals so this one will take me some time to learn. I've heard it played on lever harp by Pamela Bruner and it's just beautiful. I hope someday will a lot of work I can do this piece justice.


    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      Whether or not they should be played on the harp they're both pretty standard gig rep.

    • Briggsie B.
      Briggsie B. Peawiggle, Esq.

      Standard gig rep for some people you mean.....



    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      For professionals is what I mean. Here is a small sample of harpists with websites listing at least one of those songs on their repertoire lists. Notice they are all over the country. This is standard repertoire.

      Michelle Sell, CA   http://www.michellesell.com/wedding_music_sample.html

      Monica Hargrave, GA http://www.harp411.com/info/songlist.html

      Catherine Rogers, GA  http://www.atlantaharpist.com/

      Melissa Tardiff Dvorak, Washington DC  http://www.capitolharpist.com/repertoire.php

      Kim Davidson, Idaho   http://www.kimharpist.com/pages/repertoire.htm

      Kari Gardner, IL  http://www.blackandgoldharp.com/repertoire.html

      David Ice, AZ   http://www.azharpist.com/playlist.php

      Erin H. Green, CO  http://coloradoharpist.blogspot.com/

      Deborah Nyack, Alberta, CA  http://www.harpangel.com/wedding_harp.html#6


    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      I had "Air" requested twice recently for weddings.  One for for the entrance of the the Bride and the other was to be included in prelude music before the ceremony.  I played my own version for the Bride as I had to coordinate the timing, distance and all that so it basically ended up being the first couple lines or so.  It was very simple but elegant and many complimented afterwards.  I feel like "Moonlight" is a lovely and dramatic piece.  I play Barbara B's version and I just love it.  If people request classical and easy listening for background music, I feel it's quite appropriate.


    • Sharon
      Sharon Avis

      I have played both upon request.  I started out on piano so didn't have many problems playing them on the harp.  Personally, I think they lose something in the translation.  I use the piano music and mark the pedals and fingerings.  I did these re-arrangements before there were any harp arrangements for sale.

      If anyone is interested, I'm selling a Venus Cherub.  See the Harp Mall Classifieds.

    • Sherry
      Sherry Lenox

      How do harp arrangements of the Air address the sustained notes that are a primary element of the piece?

      From the musical standpoint, I can see a sense of internal conflict with playing something that can't actually be appropriately realized on the instrument- I'm thinking Flight of the Bumblebee on the tuba for instance.

      That said, I suppose if I were playing tuba professionally and a bride requested that I play FOTBB on my tuba for her to process to, and I wanted to be hired by the bride, I'd do it.

      I guess the "Beautyisintheeyeofthebeholder" (or ear of the listener) principle applies.