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How Do I Choose the Best Beginner Harp Music?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan

Choosing the best beginner harp music requires you to understand two things: your skill level and your musical preferences. The best beginner harp music will slightly challenge your skills and be something you enjoy playing. Harp music isn't as common as some other instrumental music, like piano or guitar, so you may have to search online or order through a catalog. You should also decide how much money you are willing to spend on music.

Before you begin shopping, take a moment to think about what you've learned so far. Usually, beginners start with simple techniques and playing repeating notes, one hand at a time. They progress to both hands, chords and arpeggios, and melody with an accompanying line. If you're using an instructional system that enumerates your level, try to find beginner harp music that follows that system. That way, you can pick the level that will suit you the best.

The term "harp" is slang for the harmonica.
The term "harp" is slang for the harmonica.

You should also think about what you like to play. You may prefer traditional songs or hymns, or you may enjoy a certain genre or up-tempo instead of ballads. Not all styles may be available, but a wide variety of music is available, and you might be surprised at what you find. If you have no preference, ask your teacher or join an online forum to get recommendations from other harpists. More experienced musicians are usually happy to help beginning players.

A budget is important in any purchase, but especially when buying something like music. Although individual pieces of music are typically inexpensive, the temptation is to purchase book after book, which really adds up. Decide how much money you are willing to spend and stick to that amount.

Whatever your budget, you should try searching for free online harp music. Since many traditional songs are not subject to copyright or royalty fees, harp arrangements are available for downloading and printing. Just double check the music as the term "harp" is also slang for the harmonica.

When you have determined your skill level, style preferences, and budget, it's time to begin shopping. Some specialty stores may carry harp music, but it is fairly uncommon. Celtic or Irish shops which focus on music and culture sometimes carry music for the Celtic harp, which is one of the smaller harps of the chordophone family. You might also try university or college music libraries. You may be able to obtain borrowing privileges and check out some beginning harp music from the library.

If you can't find music at a brick and mortar store or a library, you will have to shop online or through catalogs. The advantage of shopping online is that many companies offer sound bites of available arrangements. You can hear an audio version of the piece or book you are considering purchasing. This will help you to decide if you will enjoy playing it.

Some music companies allow a grace period or return period for customers to try out music. Make sure that the grace period allows enough time for you to read the music and send it back. The disadvantage to this is that shipping and handling is an additional expense, reducing the overall amount of beginner harp music you can purchase on your budget.

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    • The term "harp" is slang for the harmonica.
      By: Aleksandar Todorovic
      The term "harp" is slang for the harmonica.