Easy Improv – 2 new Frank Voltz titles, more

15% off music in the Americana Category | Easy Improvisation Lesson

Capital Harp Retreat Sundays | Used Harps Listing on our Blog Site

Sale on Ruth Berman Harris titles | New Frank Voltz pieces
Sunset on Seattle You Tube

Hello Harpists!

There are quite a few topics in this newsletter, so just keep scrolling away and you may find something of interest to you!  We now have a google+ presence!  Please visit us there! Find us on Google+

Red River Valley is well known as a cowboy song. I like to play David Sullivan’s arrangement of the tune from his book, Celtic Harp on the Prairie, which also gives history of the tunes. The song actually originated in New York as a commercial tune written in the 1890’s called In the Bright Mohawk Valley. The chorus and the verse are similar to each other, and this song lends itself to a simple improvisation.

One way to improvise is to play the rhythm of the melody using different notes. If improvisation is new to you, chord member notes are the first choice. What is a chord member? In a G chord for example, chord members are G, B and D.

Here we offer 3 PDF downloads: 1 – lead line with chords; 2 – worksheet with instructions and chord member names given for each measure (print as many as you want); 3 – example of a final version.  Enjoy this lesson, or use it with your students!  The PDFs are below – RRV1 – RRV2a and RRV2b.  Click to see and download (and print).


David Sullivan’s  Celtic Harp on the Prairie, mentioned above, is a great go-to book for Senior Living Centers or Library programs.  The songs are pretty, historical notes are provided and the illustrations are really beautiful! An internet search will provide even more information on each title, even with reference to movies. This book and all others in the categories of “American Historical and Patriotic” are 15% off. Use the voucher code: pat2015 Old Favs arranged by Sally Perreten is a good resource with an appendix full of hints and warm-up exercises.

  Check out that category for more ideas.  The 4th of July is fast approaching.  Louise Trotter’s Stephen Foster Favorites goes over well, and did you know Stephen Foster was born on the 4th of July?

Mary Radspinner’s arrangements of The Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful and America are full sounding, and the publication contains historical notes. These three titles are included in “Three Patriotic Pieces.”

Dragonflower’s Yankee-Dixie Johnny (on sale use code pat2015) is a fun ensemble. Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher is an excellent arranger of ensemble music, which can be found here.

Yankee-Dixie-Johnny is performed below (an old You Tube)  by students who worked for us at the time: Valerie Trevino and Melissa Berger.

You can play it barefoot!



pat2015 is the code which will give you 15% off the
music found in the categories below.


This year’s Capital Harp Retreat is taking a little different spin.  It will be divided into 2 Sundays, and take place at the beautiful Generose Enrichment Center in Manitowoc, WI.  Extreme Harp Ensemble (July 26)

.  So many times at conferences we skip workshops to rehearse our ensembles, and we don’t really get a chance to feel comfortable with our playing. Extreme Harp Ensemble devotes a day to feeling comfortable playing with others.  You can sign up for this event as a stand-alone, or you can sign up for 2 events and use this experience toward the August 23rd event. Extreme Harp Ensemble is $20 to help cover the cost of renting the facility.   More information on the music choices at www.capitalharpretreat.com – music can be purchased as a bundle with discount on both music and shipping HERE.


We have a listing of used harps on our blog site, and have just added a L&H Chicago extended.  Contact information is provided for you to connect with the sellers (these are courtesy listings for our customers).  If you have recently sent info on your used harp, I lost several e-mails, please send again. Blog Site:




 Those who did not see this announcement previously – all of the late Ruth Berman-Harris’ (1916 – 2013) printed music is in storage here at our shop.  Ms. Berman-Harris’ publications include:

Miniatures I for lever harp
Miniatures I for pedal harp (both books contain Excerpt from “En Bateau” (Debussy), Theme From Chopin Waltz, Theme From Chopin Etude, Debby’s Waltz, Spring, Ode To Brandoria, Theme From Lucia Di Lammermoor),
Miniatures III for cello and harp (this collection contains 3 original intermediate to upper intermediate level pieces for pedal harp; the pieces are fairly showy, using glissandos, lots of arpeggios, harmonics and rolled chords; songs can be played separately or in one unit as a concert piece lasting approximately 8.5 minutes; the cello part is significantly challenging.  The book is also available in solo harp version:  Miniatures III for solo pedal harp — and more titles:
Prayer for Voice and Harp, as well as concert versions of

Oh Holy Night arranged for both lever harp and pedal harp .  And

Winter – trio for pedal harp, flute and violin. Berman’s music was well ahead of its time.  She was transcribing great music for lever harp way before it became the norm.  A tribute page for the former New York harpist was set up on FB.  See it HERE.

Enter the code word “harris” to receive a 20% discount on any Ruth Berman Harris titles.  

Note:  You can enter both coupon codes mentioned in this e-mail.  First enter pat2015 for the historical selections, click OK.  Then enter harris, click OK.  Both discounts will be reflected.


Frank Voltz has two new titles!  His Name Is Love  (simple arpeggios and 2 lever changes) and The Painting, inspired by a visit to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas (with our good friends Tammy and Stan Willcox). It is a haunting melody with 3-note chords, rather than 4-note chords.


In our last newsletter we notified you of Sharon Thormahlen’s 14th book: Sunset on Seattle.  In searching around on
You Tube, we found the title tune, played in concert by Dave and Sharon.  Enjoy!



If you have read down this far, thank you!  We wanted to acknowledge the passing of Mr. Victor Salvi.  A truly gifted man, and a very nice person, he visited our store one time, and I had the pleasure of driving him to the airport.  We stopped at La Madeleine and talked about politics, how to purify drinking water, and of course harps.  He was very easy to talk with, and unassuming.  Here is an article on him that I had not yet seen: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/05/22/obituary-victor-salvi-95-greatest-impresario-of-the-harp/

Peace and Blessings from the folks at Melody’s and Afghan Press Music for the Harp. May Victor Salvi send us all blessings from above and may the harp flourish as an instrument and a way of life.

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If you want to keep in the loop, but not receive our e-mails, please consider liking us on FB.  We’ll post our announcements there.  If you need to change your e-mail, you can use the unsubscribe option to do that, too. When we send out these announcements, many times we receive a great deal of orders, and sometimes we even run out of certain titles.  We attempt to keep a 4-month supply of each title on hand at all times, based on the current and previous year sales history. If we have run out of a title, you won’t be able to order it, but please know that we make every attempt to restock within 10 days.
We generally ship using media mail.  Media is printed or recorded matter, and it used to be known as “book rate” or “library rate”.  It is the least expensive way to ship.  We use new box material, or a cardboard support in a new padded envelope to protect your music. We have found that new packaging material survives the journey best, so we don’t use recycled material when sending out your orders (except for bubble wrap and paper padding), but we encourage you to recycle the packaging material you receive from us. We flatten and recycle all cardboard boxes from our vendors, and we reuse the bubble wrap.
Your friends at Melody’s!

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