For lever or pedal harp.
Here's how New Zealand composer/arranger Anna Dunwoodie describes these books.
The BegEnz (beginner ensemble) series was created so I didn't have to keep recreating the wheel for each new group of harp students who wanted to play in an ensemble. The idea was to gather beginner solo tunes into a book, write a slightly harder version of the same piece, and then something that could be an accompaniment. That way, there would be something in that book that was at the level of each beginner player. And it worked. My BegEnz group (which in 2018 totals 20 harpists of all ages) is a very mixed group of harpists – from those who have just started to those beginners who for different reasons (not enough time, time off harping, or just not enough practice) are all enjoying playing at their own level on tunes that are familiar.
With the BegEnz books, when the student has accomplished that piece, it's not the end of it, as they can move on and use the harder version of the same piece. And to have two versions (in this case one easy, and one more difficult) sounds great when they are playing it to friends and family.
And last, but not least, there was the idea that while it is important to have both solo tunes and ensemble experience, many beginners find that it's too much to have different repertoire for both things. With the BegEnz books they can learn their solos, and then use them in an ensemble setting.
I've also included more complicated arrangements for more advanced siblings or the harp orchestra to accompany the BegEnz arrangements, with the beginner player in the limelight, and the more advanced harpist as the accompanist. There is no limit to the usefulness of these books!
BegEnz Beginning Ensemble VOLUME 1
The keys of the 16 pieces in Volume 1 range from 1 flat though 1 sharp. Fingerings are only included on the easiest part of each piece.
The extra 8 rounds at the back of the book are all in the key of C. They include only the melody, or the melody with an easy accompaniment. The PDF is 49 pages, including 47 pages of music.
Contents: Ode to Joy; I Know Where I'm Going; Hine e Hine; Au Clair de la Lune; Baloo Baleerie; Suo Gan; The Fairy Lullaby; The Purple Bamboo; Laride; Moon Over Desolate Castle; New World Symphony; The Rocking Song; The Christ Child's Lullaby; Unto Us A Son is Born; Silent Night; and Away in a Manger. There are an additional 8 rounds that include only the melody, or the melody with an easy accompaniment: Row, Row, Row Your Boat; Frere Jacques; Why Shouldn't My Goose?; Donkeys and Carrots; Ding, Dong; Let us Sing; Early to Bed; and Sweetly the Swan Sings.
BegEnz Beginning Ensemble VOLUME 2
The keys of the 13 pieces in Volume 2 range from C though 2 sharps. Fingerings are only included on the easiest part of each piece.
The extra 7 rounds at the back of the book include only the melody, or the melody with an easy accompaniment.
Contents: Adso The Cat; Plaisir d'Amour; Ring Out, Wild Bells; A Danish Folk Song; Brandywine River (Trio); The New Harp; Little Waltz; The King's Dance; The Bear Medley (2 tunes); Baloo Lammy; A Babe is Born All of a Maid; In the Bleak Midwinter; and Turtle Time (Duet). There are an additional 7 rounds that include only the melody, or the melody with an easy accompaniment: Play the Harp; I like the Flowers (I like the Mountains); Let Us Endeavour; Bellringer, Pray Give Us Some Peace?; Hey Ho Nobody Home; Great Tom is Cast; and The Higher the Plum Tree.
Here are some of the reasons why I think it's really important to play in ensembles.
* Students are very quick to learn that they must tune their harp before they play together (not just tell me that they tuned it before they left home – not good enough) or it will sound out in the group.
* Students learn so much by using their ears –while their timing might be a little 'loose' when they play by themselves, when they play with me, or with other harpists, they have to play in the correct time, and when they do this enough, their own personal timing tightens up.
* Sometimes we stumble along by ourselves – but when we play in a group, we quickly learn that you either play it in time with the group, or stop, recalibrate, and rejoin the group when you can … the group won't wait for one person. To be able to do this and keep calm is a great skill!