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Manx Music for Harp

ALL HARPS SOLO, INTERMEDIATE.  A collection of traditional Manx folk songs arranged by Kathleen Blackwell-Plank for solo lever or pedal harp.  Available as a PDF download only.  Scroll down for video recordings.


QuantityDiscountPer Item Price
2+ 10% $10.80


From the arranger:

These arrangements utilize a full range of bass and treble registers. Using techniques such as pres de la table (p.d.l.t.) or playing near the soundboard, harmonics, rolled chords, and glissandi the pieces explore a wide variety of harp tonal colors. Chord symbols are provided, and historical thumbnail sketches provide information on the background and performance of the pieces.  No lever changes are needed. The nineteen-page collection contains fourteen pages of music.

Manx Memory in Dorian mode (no sharps or flats) utilizes arpeggios, occasional rolled chords, and glissandi.  When Dr. John Clague wrote the tune in his manuscript book in 1893, he gave no title, informant, or place of collection.  Blackwell-Plank has named the piece Manx Memory, and her inventive arrangement is hauntingly beautiful.  The inverted crescent symbol in measure 69 indicates a glissando played with the backs of the fingernails.  The fingers of the right hand are curved back toward the player and the fingernails of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, fingers play the glissando creating a fluttering effect.  The glissando in measure 70 is played in the usual fashion with the thumb of the right hand.

There Was a Lady from the North in G minor (2 flats) utilizes occasional rolled chords, and pres de la table (p.d.l.t.) or playing near the soundboard.

Let us magnify the Lord (Carval Lhig dooin ard volley choyrt da’m chiarn) in A minor (no sharps or flats) utilizes occasional rolled chords and pres de la table (p.d.l.t.) or playing near the soundboard.  The left-hand melody in the misterioso section from the pick-up of measure 70 – 83 may be played as written or for those seeking a greater challenge, may be played down an octave utilizing left-hand harmonics. A carval is a religious ballad sung at Oie’ll Verrey (Christmas Eve). They had many verses as the singer, holding a candle, began at the back of the church and took a step forward after each verse. The singing continued until the chancel steps were reached. Most were composed after the Bible was translated into Manx during the Methodist revival.  Few carvals dealt with the nativity narrative but were drawn instead from stories throughout the Bible.

Carval Jezebel (Carval ny drogh Vraane) in A minor (no sharps or flats) utilizes occasional rolled chords and left-hand harmonics.  This beautiful melody is one of the best known and earliest to be found in print.   The Clague Collection: A Catalogue of Song and Tune Titles indicates that the melody was to the folk tune The Farmer’s Daughter.


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