For lever or pedal harp.
Douglas Beck's beautiful improvisational-style arrangements of five hymns are perfect for worship, meditation, and other quiet moments. The pieces range from advanced beginner to intermediate levels, and are in the keys of C, or 1 or 2 sharps. No lever changes are required within the music. Fingerings are not included. This 23-page PDF includes 15 pages of music.
Here is how Douglas describes this collection in his introduction.
Life's "thin place" moments inspired me to arrange this music for lever harp. "Thin places" describe those moments when we feel like we've gotten a glimpse into our lives that takes us deeper from what we see around us. In those moments we sense that there is more to life than what meets the eye.
The harp is a wonderful instrument to experience this music. The instrument's intimate nature lends itself well to quiet meditation. So do the tunes that inspired
these arrangements. These tunes were inspired by ancient texts that led those who originally sang this music to a deeper sense of unity with life.
"Conditur alme siderum is a late-night hymn that begins with these words. "Creator of the stars of night, your people's everlasting light, Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
And, hear Thy servants when they call." The tune is plainsong. Plainsong music is known for its rhythm and pitches that are shaped by the rhythm of the text itself. There is another tradition around this hymn connecting it to the Christmas season. I arranged this piece keeping in mind the sky moving from dusk to dark. There's a moment when the stars begin to sparkle.
"Picardy" is a seventeenth-century French hymn. Unlike the freer expression of plainsong, "Picardy" is set to a text that has a regular rhythm. "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" is inspired by the book of "Revelations" in the Bible. This hymn speaks of a time to come when all will live in unity and peace for eternity.
"Tu lucis ante terminum" is another plainsong piece. Traditionally it is sung before bedtime, as a prayer of completion drawing the day to a close. Phrases like "save us from troubled restless sleep" and "calm our minds that fears may cease" are part of a prayer intent on allowing for a more restful night.
"Veni, veni Emmanuel" is a traditional hymn for the seasons of Advent and Christmas. The tune has plainsong roots. The hymn was originally sung, one verse for each of the eight days leading to Christmas Eve. Each day's verse begins with "O come, o come, Emmanuel." For this reason, these verses are sometimes referred to as the "O Antiphons." The same refrain is sung
each of the days. "Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel."
"Verbum supernum prodiens" John Mason Neale's (1818-1866) words are what I have in mind here. He set his words to this ancient tune: "Now that the daylight fills
the sky, we lift our hearts to God on high..." This hymn for the morning reminds me of the most magnificent sunrise I ever saw. The first light of morning on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States
is not far from where I live in Maine. From the top of Cadillac Mountain, visitors there at sunrise are the first in the country to welcome the sun at the start of the day. It is a spectacular sight as the light increases, little by little across the Atlantic Ocean. This scene is what I had in mind when writing this arrangement.
The music in this collection is intentionally ordered to give the experience of nature's movement from night to day, from darkness to light. As you learn the pieces, consider playing the pieces in this order. May this music touch you and all with whom you share, that you may experience gifts of peace, hope and contentment.
Click on the blue titles below to see a sample of the first few lines of music.
Conditur alme siderum (Creator of the stars of night)
Picardy (Let all mortal flesh keep silence)
Tu lucis ante siderum (To you before the end of day)
Veni, veni Emmanuel (O come, O come Emmanuel)
Verbum supernum prodiens (Now the daylight fills the sky)