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Avian Airs and Carols

ALL HARPS SOLO, LATE BEGINNER/EARLY INTERMEDIATE.  Three European folk songs with bird themes arranged by Kathleen Blackwell-Plank for solo lever or pedal harp.  Available as a PDF download only.  Scroll down for a video recording.


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2+ 10% $10.80


Kathleen Blackwell-Plank has made intermediate to advanced intermediate harp arrangements of avian carols from different countries.  There are carols of the birds in many cultures.  This collection contains three unique examples: a lilting carol in 6/8 from Ireland, the hauntingly beautiful Catalan melody which has become a symbol of peace and a sprightly song from France.

The Carol of the Birds (Curoo, Curoo) in D major (2-sharps) is from Ireland and dates to at least the mid-nineteenth century.  This arrangement included lyrics in English and uses occasional rolled chords, glissandi and left-hand harmonics.

The Song of the Birds in D minor (1-flat) is a traditional Catalan Christmas lullaby that was made famous by cellist, Pablo Casals who chose this piece of his native land to open each of his concerts and recitals.  Lyrics are provided in Spanish. This piece utilizes grace notes, rolled chords, arpeggios and frequent but well-marked lever changes.

Whence Comes this Rush of Wings (Noël des Ausèls) is in G minor (2-flats) and is an old carol from the Bas-Quercy region of southwest of France. This carol tells of the birds who flew to Bethlehem to sing their joy at the birth of the Christ child.  They followed the “Noël Star” and flew into the stable to sing by the manger.

Kathleen Blackwell-Plank’s arrangement for harp utilizes rolled chords, glissandi and grace notes in the introduction and interludes to create the ethereal sounds of birds’ wings and songbird calls to set off this joyous melody. Several E naturals are set before playing but no lever changes are required.  All three pieces have chord symbols and are a welcome addition to the harpists repertoire at Christmas but would be lovely in other seasons, as well.  ALL HARPS, INTERMEDIATE.


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