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More current Pop Repertoire

  • Unknown
    Unknown User

    Hello Teachers,

    I am having trouble keeping one of my students interested in repertoire. Are there some more contemporary pop arrangements for pedal harp? Most of the Pop stuff I can see is from the 70s and 80s. Is there anything out there from the late 90s & 2000s. I did find Clocks by Cold Play, but that's all I've found.

    Tisha

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    replies to "More current Pop Repertoire"
    • Jerusha
      Jerusha Amado

      Tisha,

      I am not a harp teacher, but I play pop and jazz professionally.  "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan is available through Sylvia Woods at harpcenter.com

      Jerusha

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    • Stephanie M.
      Stephanie M. Sussmeier

      Hello,
        There's "It's You" by Michelle Branch, some selections from Sylvia Woods' book "22 Romantic Songs," some "Titanic" pieces are out there as well as "Into the West" from the Lord of the Rings.  Hope some of these help. 

                                                                                  -Stephanie

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    • Helen
      Helen Rudd

      Your best bet may be to let them tell you what current pop tunes they like, take a look at some piano versions and see if they might work for the harp. Even if they don't work at first look you may be able to arrange them in a "harpy" way or have your students work on it as an excercise in arranging. Most pop piano stuff works well on the harp. I've been playing Evanesence (my immortal), several Joanna Newsom songs (although I guess she's more indie than pop), a few Linkin park songs, Bella's Lullaby (the official version and the Yiruma unofficial version) etc. Depending on what your student is interested in the skys the limit. I have also been playing songs from some of the movies I love, Twilight, Piano, all of the Jane Austin movies (amazon.com has 2 great books that contain pretty much all of the music from these movies including My father's favorite which plays like it was made for the harp!), etc.

      Oh and speaking of clocks, check out this great harp video on youtube-
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3ZJ2TIjSaE

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    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      Since you transcribed those Brahms pieces you probably have no problem adapting piano music for harp but if you want arrangements for harp then the ones above are good and they are by Paul Baker. He has others too some are older and some are more contemporary and you can just search his name at www.harp.com so they all come up. I've had a couple students with this kind of issue so I try all kinds of things that are interesting for them. Sometimes contemporary pop music works well if it's not too hard for them and also sometimes music from commercials too. Remember the airline commercial with Rhapsody in Blue? That is a great one if the student recognizes it or the Ravel Pavane for a Dead Spanish Princess. One student really liked contemporary Christian music and got excited about arranging her own solos for church from piano music and she kinda got more interested in standard harp literature after that because she had a better understanding of the choices the composer made. Students are all different but a lot of the time they lose interest because it becomes work and not fun because they aren't sure they can really do it. Anything that shows them they can will peak their interest. You could take a pop song and get them playing a left hand or right hand alberti bass figure. Then get them to put the melody in there. Maybe you write it all out, so they don't have to find it on their own, but the key is they get excited at trying and accomplishing this thing that seems hard but is easy enough to do if you approach it right (like patting your tummy and rubbing your head). And lots of people get frustrated because they aren't used to music notation enough to recognize patterns yet and everything they do seems unrelated to the last thing.

      Pride and Predjudice piano music is great on the harp and really pretty so it's a good suggestion too.

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    • Misty
      Misty Harrison

      And if you are having trouble finding the pop repertoire you need see if the student has someone else who likes a special song. My mom always loved some older pop songs that I didn't know but I learned them because she liked them and it was good for me because I got reinforcement by being able to play something someone else really wanted to hear.

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    • Tony
      Tony Morosco

      This might be a good time to teach this student how to play from a fake book. Fully done arrangements of contemporary pop tunes for harp are rare, but there are lots of lead sheets and fake books out there full of contemporary pop music.

      Playing from a fake book is a totally different approach to playing that can be rewarding and very, very fun once you start to get the hang of it. It might be not only an infusion of new repertoire to keep them interested, but a different approach to playing that might help them look at playing differently.

      I remember taking piano lessons when I was younger and hating playing the pieces from the books I had to use. And then someone taught me about fake books and lead sheets and the piano suddenly became a fun instrument.

      Although personally I enjoy playing arrangements on harp much more than I did on piano I still find fake books an excellent source of contemporary and unusual music. And cost effective. I have some fake books that cost maybe 20 to 30 dollars but have dozens to, in some cases, over a hundred or two hundred pieces in them.

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    • Unknown
      Unknown User

      Thanks for all the great suggestions. I guess I am looking for something "ready-made." We'll figure something out.

      Tisha

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