Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
January 2018 Newsletter
A Personal Note from Sylvia
Carolan St Patrick
I'm giving you two months' notice of an upcoming important date.  March 25 will be the 280th anniversary of Turlough O'Carolan's death in 1738.  This month we have lots of Carolan's music on sale, so you can practice and be ready for the March 25 anniversary.

This newsletter issue is Carolan . . . all Carolan . . . all the time! 

(This portrait of Turlough O'Carolan in Dublin's St Patrick's Cathedral was sculpted by John Valentine Hogan in 1874.)
unforgettable Who was Turlough O'Carolan?
Most harp players . . . particularly those who play lever harp . . . are very familiar with Turlough O'Carolan and his music.   
For many, their first introduction was through the 3 Carolan pieces in my Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp book: Planxty George Brabazon, Planxty Irwin, and Sheebeg, Sheemore.  A lot of my students list them as some of their favorite pieces in the book.  Because of this popularity, I wrote my 40 O'Carolan Tunes book in 1985.  It is one of my best-sellers.
In case you don't know about Turlough O'Carolan, here's a very short bio from my Teach Yourself  book.    
Carolan Statue
Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738) is the best known of the Irish harpers. About 200 of his tunes are extant, and many more tunes are falsely attributed to him. He began studying the harp at the age of 18 when he was blinded by smallpox. At 21 he set out with a horse, a guide, and his harp to make his way as an itinerant harper. He was welcomed into the best houses in Ireland and was always treated with respect and esteem.
You can read a much more comprehensive bio on the Turlough O'Carolan page on Wikipedia.  Or, better yet, get a comprehensive bio in Caitriona Rowsome's The Complete Carolan Songs and Airs book featured in our next article below.  
(The Carolan statue shown here can be found in Mohill, County Leitrim, Ireland.)
NewPDFs Complete Carolan Songs and Airs book and CDs
Complete Carolan
In my opinion, the definitive harp book on Turlough O'Carolan was written by Irish harper Caitriona Rowsome in 2011: The Complete Carolan Songs & Airs. Starting from Donal O'Sullivan's 1958 classic study of O'Carolan and his music, Caitriona expanded on the information and made it even more relevant for harp players.

Whereas O'Sullivan's book includes the melody line for all 226 tunes written by or attributed to O'Carolan, Caitriona's book includes 2-handed harp arrangements of each of the tunes. Most of the arrangements are for beginning to advanced beginning harp players, so they are accessible for everyone! She's even included the lyrics where applicable. An added bonus is a set of 4 CDs of Caitriona performing all 226 songs and airs. The arrangements are in the keys of 1 flat through 3 sharps, with no fingerings, and are suitable for piano as well as harp. Some of the pieces require lever changes, which are marked in the music. This is an essential book for any Celtic harpist! 254 pages, paperbound, with 4 CDs.  
Here's additional information from the back cover of the book.
This comprehensive collection gives a unique perspective to the music of the great Irish harper-composer, Turlough Carolan (1670-1738), Caitríona Rowsome has combined Carolan's surviving airs with sensitive and appropriate harp settings, metrically matching them with Carolan's surviving lyrics for the airs. Many of the airs are not commonly known as songs, and some include lyrics published here for the first time. For each of Carolan's Irish songs, an English interpretation is also provided. These are in the form of translations, paraphrases and, in some cases, English songs that give a context to -- and a broader understanding of -- Carolan's Irish verse.

The arrangements for the Irish harp of the 226 airs in this book vary from simple to complex and will suit a range of skill levels. Historical notes, detailing the intended recipients (much of Carolan's music was written in honour of patrons), are also provided, as well as an appendix and notes on ornamentation. The collection includes recordings of all 226 songs and airs, performed by Caitríona Rowsome.

Caitríona Rowsome was born in Dublin into a family that spans five generations of Irish traditional musicians. She studied Irish harp at the DIT College of Music in Dublin and taught there after earning her teaching diploma in 1990. Rowsome has also adjudicated harp competitions in Granard and taught the Irish harp for a number of years in Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann. An honours graduate of DCU with a B.Sc. in Computer Applications, she is a writer fore their distance education programme, Oscail, and also paints in oils, drawing inspiration from her native Irish landscape and culture.
Now for the good news and the bad news.
Bad news:  I've been having trouble getting this book from the distributor for the past few years.  It is often out of stock and has been unavailable here in the USA for the past 6 months.  It is very frustrating.   
Good news: A shipment finally arrived, and I bought all that were available . . . 15 copies!  I don't know when the next shipment will arrive . . . so if you want a copy . . . order it NOW!
If my site says that the book is "out of stock," that means that we've sold out again.  Please email me at and ask to be put on the list for the next shipment.  I'll then email you as soon as the book is back in stock.  You'll get first dibs! 
This book is heavy  . . . almost 3 pounds. If you're in the US, you'll have 2 shipping choices: Media Mail and Priority Mail. Media Mail is cheaper . . . but, since I'll be shipping from Hawaii, it can take about a month to arrive!  So, if you choose Media Mail, please be very, very, very patient.  Thank you. 
(NOTE: This book is NOT part of this month's special sale.)
thisMonthsSaleThis month's sale
Turlough O'Carolan   
This month's features 8 books and PDFs with at least one tune by Turlough O'Carolan.   The code word is Carolan's initials: TOC
To get the 15% discount on the products below, enter the code word TOC in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by February 5, 2018. For more information, see the 15% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter.    
(Caitriona Rowsome's The Complete Carolan Songs and Airs Book and CD mentioned above is NOT included in this sale.)  
Foggy Dew
The Foggy Dew
by Mary Radspinner
including 5 O'Carolan tunes
15% off with TOC code
Harpers Brew
Harper's Brew
by Aryeh Frankfurter 
including 5 O'Carolan tunes
15% off with TOC code
Kim Robertson Lambs
Searching for Lambs
by Kim Robertson
including Beauty in Tears
15% off with TOC code

Sunita Solo
Sunita Solo Harp
by Sunita Staneslow
including 3 O'Carolan tunes
15% off with TOC code
Harpa Tunebook
The Harpa Tunebook
by Beth Kolle
including Fanny Po'er
15% off with TOC code
Carolan Consort
A Carolan Consort
for harp, flute, and recorder ensembles by Nancy Hurrell   
15% off with TOC code

Sylvia Woods
books  with


by Sylvia Woods
15% off with TOC code
Teach Yourself book
Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp
 by Sylvia Woods
including 3 O'Carolan tunes   
15% off with TOC code

promocodes15% off select sale items when you use the code word: TOC

Our newsletter promo codes are only redeemable on-line, and can only be used for the items featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone or e-mail orders. This month's code word is TOC and it is good for
15% off the select books, sheets and PDFs in the sale section above.   
Here's how to get your newsletter discount at : 
#1. Put the items you want to purchase in your cart. 
#2. On the page where you view the items in your cart, type this month's code word TOC in the "Promo Code" box, and click on "Enter Code."
The actual price of the featured sale products on this page will then automatically change to reflect the discount. You'll also see a note below the Promo Code box saying the name of the promo code you entered, and the percentage amount of the discount.  
REMEMBER:  you must enter this month's code word TOC in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by February 5
to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email us immediately .   

offer expires at the end of the day on 2/5/2018.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (808) 212-9525

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