Meet Gretchen Monson

Gretchen MonsonPeople are often curious about the arranging process.  In my experience, a good introduction idea is key…

My mother still has the yellow carbon copy packing slips from our first two Melody’s orders.  That was my introduction to the harp fifteen years ago!  The first, from 2007, is for an electric tuner, “First Harp Book” and “Harp Solos, Vol. 1.”  Our family bought two pedal harps in 2013, and our orders began to include repertoire such as “Aria in Classic Style” and “Impromptu-Caprice.”  At that point, the thought of my arrangements ever being part of a store’s inventory hadn’t even crossed my mind.  That would change.

I had already been playing our lever harp occasionally in our church orchestra.  Now with three harps, my younger twin siblings and I began playing trios for special music.  We quickly exhausted the very limited supply of sacred trio music available, and out of necessity, I began writing for our ensemble.  Like most first attempts, my 2013 arrangements were impractical and sometimes copies of existing piano arrangements.  They quickly wound up in a “memories” folder.  2014 was a year of discovering my own style and produced works like “All the Way” and “The Church’s Firm Foundation.”

By 2017, I had 15 pieces (including two classical trios – “Morning” and “Andante Cantabile”) to share with the greater harp world.  It was a year of change for me.  My family had just moved from Iowa to Alabama, where harpists are few and far between, and I graduated from high school.  The foremost goal for my gap year was to publish my music.  Mary Radspinner was the first person I contacted.  She liked my work and had a suggestion – to rework as many of the trios as possible for all lever harp ensembles.  To my surprise, this was quite doable for all but two of the fifteen.  As of this spring, 44% of my sales have been lever harp versions, so her suggestion was golden.

Fast-forward to 2022 and I have just graduated with degrees in harp performance and mathematics from the University of Montevallo.  The past four years were filled with gigs, volunteer performances at hospitals, and inspiration from transcription and composition classes.  Currently, I have 22 harp ensemble titles in addition to several choral and orchestral works elsewhere.  I’ve recently begun assisting Melody’s with uploading digital products and other website tasks.  Arranging is again a priority for me while continuing studies in statistics pursuing an actuarial credential.  Harp trios – sacred, folk, and classical – are on the list, but I am branching out into solo arrangements and transcriptions, specifically geared toward background harp gigs.

In arranging, a good introduction takes many forms.  It could look like a short original melody (as in “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming,” and “Wonderful Peace”), an appealing accompaniment pattern (as in “Creation Medley”), or even a short vamp into the chorus or last line of the song (see “A Patriotic Medley”).  The inspiration for this initial idea could randomly come to mind, but more often it is reached by sitting down at the harp or piano and playing around with the song’s melody.

I look forward to publishing more music for y’all in the near future and being a part of Melody’s excellent service to the harp world!


Downloadable Product Information

Here at Melody’s we offer a wide array of music books and accessories.  In the music book category, you may have a choice between PDFs (or MP3s) and paper books. If there is a choice, you are required to click either the paper version or PDF version before you can put an item into your cart. There should be no shipping charge for download music.  If there are physical products in your cart at the same time, your total will reflect shipping for those physical items.

Products that are download only will have a narrow blue banner toward the top of the description.   Products that are only available as physical/paper will not have a choice for you to make in order to add to your cart, nor will they have the narrow blue banner signifying download only.

After you check out, you are directed back to your receipt where you can download your music. Also, you will receive an email thanking you for your order with links that will take you to your downloads. Please add me*************@gm***.com to your approved e-mail list. If you do not receive an e-mail within a few minutes after you place your order, check your spam folder.

If you created an account with us, you can also find your downloads by going to “My Account” and clicking on the “Downloads” link.  We highly recommend that you create an account so that you can refer to your order history whenever you want.

Depending on your computer settings, when you click on your download link, 1 –  it may open automatically, 2 – it may go into your “downloads” folder, or 3 – your computer may prompt you to “save as”. 

If you have a problem with your downloads, please contact us at Me*************@gm***.com  for assistance. Because our website contains so many titles, on occasion we have overlooked uploading a PDF here or there.  When you notify us of this, we make the correction immediately.  Please note that downloads are not “returnable.”


Depending on your computer settings, when you click on your download link, 1 –  it may open automatically, 2 – it may go into your “downloads” folder, or 3 – your computer may prompt you to “save as”.  If you can’t find your PDF, look in your “downloads” folder first.  The title of the PDF may not match the title of the book, so you may want to change the title to what you will remember. After you have located your download, please either remember that it is in your “downloads” folder, or better yet, move it to another folder on your computer with a name that you will remember.

Your respect of the copyright laws will help support the musicians and arrangers who created this music, and will encourage more harp music to be produced in the future. Please do not make multiple copies to pass on to others. You can help keep downloadable harp music viable and available by encouraging your students, friends, and relatives to purchase their own copies. Thank you for your assistance in this endeavor.


On our website,, we offer a wide selection of paper and download music. We were always in a quandary about publications having several parts, or that include sound files. After realizing that we can place multiple files into one folder and “zip” it up, we are now able to offer book + cd options.

What we do: sound files and the PDF book are placed into a folder and zipped. The zipped folder is inserted into the product on the back end of the web site.

What you receive: after you purchase, you receive a zipped folder. This is a folder that literally has a picture of a zipper on it, indicating there is more than one document in the folder.

What you do with it: Generally by double clicking on the folder, it automatically opens up. The challenge lies in whether or not you have a program that unzips these folders. If you do, it is as simple as double clicking and the contents are revealed. Alternately, you can right click on the folder, which brings up choices, one of which is “open with” – you then click on your unzip program.

If you don’t have a program to unzip your files you’ll have a challenge! Recently I bought a small laptop for my zoom lessons. This laptop did not come with winzip, or any other kind of program that unzips these folders. The computer kept wanting me to purchase winzip for $29.  I found another program that does a great job, and it is free. 7-zip unzips all my compressed (zipped) folders! It is open source and you can find out more here:

We hope all this information is helpful to you.

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