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English Country Dances

ALL HARPS SOLO, EARLY INTERMEDIATE/INTERMEDIATE.  Three lilting English pieces arranged by Kathleen Blackwell-Plank for solo lever or pedal harp.  Available as a PDF only.  Scroll down for a video recording.


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Kathleen Blackwell-Plank has made intermediate lever or pedal harp arrangements of three English Country Dances.  This lovely set is in A minor.  The genre emerged during the reign of Elizabeth I (1558 – 1603). The style of dancing appears to be a combination of Continental courtly dance brought to the English court by Italian dancing masters and the dances done by English country folk.  John Playford (1623-1686/7) was a London bookseller, publisher, musician, and dance enthusiast.  During the late 19th and early 20th century many countries undertook efforts to preserve and revive disappearing language, music, and culture. It was during this time of nationalistic interest that Cecil Sharp was instrumental in re-discovering and promoting English country dancing.

Green Sleeves and Yellow Lace is a variation of the ubiquitous Greensleeves.  The verse of Greensleeves utilizes the chord progression passamezzo antico and in the chorus the chord progression romanesca is used. Kathleen Blackwell-Plank’s arrangement utilizes a variation of these patterns utilizing Em in place of E and occasionally using the VI or F chord. In this arrangement the melody of the chorus has been slightly altered to avoid a lever change to “f natural.” The rhythm is changed slightly and the note ”a” is substituted in place of the ”f natural.”  Two F#s are set at the beginning of the piece and no lever changes are required.   This arrangement uses rolled chords, glissandi an arpeggios.

Goddesses was first published in the first edition of The English Dancing Master in 1651.

Jenny Pluck Pears is in AAB song form.  The “A” section is in 6/8 meter and the “B” section in 3/4 time. In this fast dance, the dotted quarter note of the “A” section equals the dotted half note in the “B” section.  Jenny is a common name for a rustic sweetheart.

Chord symbols are provided on all pieces.  This 14-page PDF includes 9 pages of music. Length of pieces range from 2.5 – 4 minutes.  ALL HARPS, EARLY INTERMEDIATE/INTERMEDIATE.


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