Our next Harp Circle will be on Saturday 13 October, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. ish- at Becky’s (I’m going to try doing these monthly during the school terms and see how it goes).
Let me know if you are interested in attending, or know of other harpists that would be!
Bring your own harp, tuner, tuning key and music stand.
Bring a plate to share, tea will be provided.
We’ll play some tunes together, have a break for some tea and then gently encourage any attendees (who want to) to perform a tune - for a very friendly audience (ourselves).
We’ve got a google drive folder started with some tunes in it, and in the majority will use that for the tunes we play together. If you have something you’d like added and it’s either public domain or you have permission just send it along and I’ll add it. If you want to bring printouts of a tune you’d like to try as a group, bring it along (ask a few days before hand and I’ll let you know how many we expect).
If you are interested, please let Becky know.
A Harp Circle is an informal gathering of harpists (or harpers, if you prefer), which can take many forms. The one thing they all have in common is the sharing of music.
Our typical harp circle might start with a general meet-and-greet (which often involves people trying out each other’s harps), and everyone making sure their harps are tuned. Bringing an electronic tuner is wise for this part, since there may be a lot of background noise (this is where tuning pickups really earn their keep!), and everyone will want to be at the same pitch (A=440, or concert pitch, is standard in most areas).
This is often followed by learning one or more group pieces - arranged at various levels of capability. Parts, in our case, will in the majority be on google drive please bring the printed versions with you; or available in printed format on the day if it’s not on the drive.
Typically it will be as casual as someone saying "let's try this one!" and handing around some sheet music if it isn't on the drive. Sometimes this group participation might take the form of a more formalized workshop, with a specific topic - currently not thinking of this but we could if people are interested.
At the mid-point will be a welcome break for munchies and socializing (participants are encouraged to bring contributions of snacks).
After the break, there may be more group playing, but often this is the stage for the “once-around-the-circle”, where people are free to play a piece of their choosing. This can be a great opportunity for shy and inexperienced players, or those with dreadful performance nerves, to try something out in public for the first time, in front of a small and sympathetic friendly audience. It can also be a chance for more experienced players to try out something new, or play their latest piece. It certainly never hurts to get a healthy boost to the old self esteem, in the comforting company of peers! However, all players will be encouraged to pick something relatively short, so everyone who wants to has a chance to play.
The performance part, is strictly voluntary. The idea of harp circles is to have fun, in a relaxed, no-pressure environment. Players can feel free to participate as much or as little as they like. For the complete beginner, sometimes it’s great to just be able to meet other harpers and see different harps, even if you’re a bit too shy to try playing along the first time.