This book is intended to be an introduction to a style of music that has a long and noble history that is inextricably intertwined with that of the ancient harp. The tunes contained in this book were chosen for their playability on the folk harp as well as for ease of separating into categories of skill.
About the Author
Leslie McMichael feels lucky to be doing what she loves for a living. A graduate of Wellesley College, her musical pursuits include teaching, performance, recording, and composition. In 1992, Leslie co-founded the Vashon Island Harp School with Laurie Riley and Michael MacBean. The school, located a short ferry ride from Seattle in Washington State, is dedicated to bringing harp players together and expanding the horizons of what harp can be. A long-time pedal harpist, Leslie enjoys sharing her background of classical music and technique with both folk and pedal harpists. She has received training in the Suzuki method for young harpists and now heads the harp department at the Suzuki Institute of Seattle, in addition to directing two other Suzuki programs in the greater Seattle area. At Vashon Island Harp School, Leslie has directed the adult and children's harp ensembles, introduced lever harpers to the joys of the pedal harp, and taught beginning improvisation and ensemble playing. She takes great delight in presenting harpists and harp music in unusual situations! "I didn't know a harp could do that!" is a remark often heard at Laurie Riley's concerts. Known for her ability to make a harp sound like a whole new instrument, she can make it speak, make it laugh, and cry. Audiences feel her music as a visceral experience. A professional musician since the age of ten, Laurie has toured throughout the US, Canada, and Ireland. She plays selections from around the world, from historical times, as well as compositions of her own. The richness of various cultures' musical styles offers endless ways to express what I play. Whether it's Celtic, South American, Scandinavian, Israeli, Ukrainian... there is something new in each tradition." Through her playing, the double-strung harp has emerged as an exciting new sound in the world of harps. She was instrumental in designing the modern double-strung harp which has become popular in recent years among harpers. Two rows of strings played at the same time make this instrument sound like a duet of two harps. She has recorded eleven albums of harp music, authored five books, and made five instructional videos. She also judges harp competitions and teaches for harp organizations in the US and abroad.