I asked former organizer Cindy Weaver Schaufenbuel to give us the title of her favorite music book that also included Scottish tunes that could be played for the competition. She recommended two! That is why this will be a two-part article, and I will publish her recommendations separately. Her first selection is “The Harp Key” by Alison Kinnaird.
When asked why she liked these books over others in her collection, she replied that both of her selections “are ground-breaking books by players who are also dedicated researchers of Scottish harp music, as opposed to Scottish music that can be played on the harp, but isn’t idiomatic to it. I have many books with wonderful arrangements of Scottish music by harpers who would no doubt also say that they were influenced by one or both of these books.”
Cindy continues, “I’d say that The Harp Key is intermediate to advanced, but while it introduces some techniques and idioms that are specific to Scottish music, it’s not too far out of the ordinary for most people who play folk harp.”
Her favorite tune in “The Harp Key”? “Bas Alastrium (Death of Alistair)”.
You can sample and purchase Cindy’s favorite song, performed on a harp at the Amazon link at right. Please enjoy this lovely interpretation of “Bas Alastrium” by Alison Kinnaird.
Price is subject to change, but it is currently listed at $12-$40. Full disclosure, Amazon is an affiliate of ours; by clicking on this purchase button and buying the book right away, you will be helping support MnSHW.Purchase This Book
According to musicinscotland.com, “The Harp Key” is a collection of 24 harp tunes arranged by Alison Kinnaird. Arranged in a style which is not an antiquarian attempt to recreate the music as it might have sounded 200 years ago, but which reflects the living tradition of Scottish Music. Extensive historical notes provide fascinating insights into this beautiful art-form. Selections include:
- McLoud’s Salute
- Ge Do Theid Mi Do m’Leabaidh (Though I Go To My Bed)
- Cumh Easbig Earraghaal (Lament For The Bishop Of Argyll)
- Bas Alastruim (The Death Of Alasdair)
- MacDonnell’s March
- Caoineadh Rioghail (Royal Lament)
- Carril’s Lament
- Port Patrick
- Hi Ri Ri Ri Ho (The Harper’s Land)
- The Battle Of Sherriff Moor
- Blar Sliabh An t-Siorradh
- Rory Dall’s Port
- Port Atholl
- Ruairidh Dall (Jig)
- Suipeir Tighearna Leoid (Lude’s Supper)
- Fuath Nam Fidhleirean (Contempt For Fiddle Players)
- Cumha Peathar Ruaidhri (Lament For Rory’s Sister)
- Far-fuadach A’ Chlarsair (The Harper’s Dismissal)
- The Lament For The Harp Key (Cumha Crann Nan Teud)
- Ellen’s Dreams
- The Braidwood Waits
- Sheuglie’s Contest Betwixt His Harp, Fiddle And Pipes
- The Keiking Glasse
Recommend Another Book to Us!
If you have other books that include Scottish tunes that you love, please leave the title in the comments below or email us using our handy book recommender.
Register for the Competition
I hope you’ve been inspired to learn a new Scottish tune. Won’t you consider playing it for us at next year’s competition? Learn more about the competition and register today! Hope to see you there!Learn More About the Competition