Becky Baxter is well known in the world of early harp music. She has done considerable recording and performing in the arena of historical performance practice for Spanish and Italian music of the renaissance and baroque periods. She is usually seen performing as a baroque continuo harp player on the Italian triple row harp or Iberian cross-strung harp. These modern arrangements are a deviation from the realm of early music she is so famous for, and in Becky’s words:
“I love to experiment with arranging on all sorts of modern harps. I was inspired to come up with these modern arrangements of the Gow fiddle tunes from seeing and playing the wide variety of beautiful lever harps available in the early 1990’s at Melody’s in Houston, Texas. Although not representative of expertise in historical performance practice of early Scottish music, these are certainly fun and contemporary settings of charming Scottish fiddle tunes, written for 21st century lever harp players to share with their harp friends. The quasi hurdy-gurdy like drone I chose for the accompaniment in the tune Lady Amelia Murray is a small example of the clever exploration in modern harp arranging of traditional Scottish tunes that gives me creative pleasure outside of my usual professional field of early harp music. I hope you will grab a harp friend and have fun with these lovely fiddle tunes.”
Although originally intended to be performed as duets, the pieces can also work nicely as solos by playing the harp 1 part and omitting Harp 2. The Highlander’s Farewell to Ireland is a wire harp solo. The designations “gut or nylon harp” and “Celtic harp” are interchangeable; the “gut or nylon” distinction is made in the pieces that call for wire-strung harp as Harp II in order to clarify the need for the two distinct sound colors. Harmonics are played where written. Fingerings are generally omitted except for damping suggestions in “The Highlander’s Farewell”, in which they are very useful! This book has recently been revised. It contains only the score, with harp 1 and harp 2 on the same page. Page turns have been adjusted so they are as easy as possible.
Table of Contents:
Lord Buchan, Caledonian Hunt, Lady Ann Hope, The Highlander’s Farewell to Ireland, Lady Amelia Murray.