Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
July 2018 Newsletter
PersonalA Personal Note from Sylvia
Perfect sheet LG 
Last month I told you that my new arrangement of Ed Sheeran's beautiful love song, Perfect was available as a PDF. I've received lots of orders, and thank-you's from happy customers. I'm pleased to announce that the printed sheet music  music of Perfect is now available.  Enjoy!   

And don't forget my recent Favorites from the 50s book.  It is now available as a printed, spiral-bound book, or as a PDF.    
This month you can help me celebrate both a 40th anniversary and a 50th anniversary.  What are these anniversaries????  Find out in the sale section  below!  
Even though they're my anniversaries . . . you get the gift of a whopping 20% off some of my best-selling books.  


Franco Extravaganza RobinThe Carolan saga continues . . .
#1. In January's newsletter, I wrote the following:
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.  - $39.95
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 waiting list for the next shipment.  
#2. February's newsletter included this update:  
Last month, I told you about Caitriona Rowsome's definitive harp book and CD set: The Complete Carolan Songs & Airs.
As I mentioned, I've had lots of problems getting this book, and I only had 15 copies in stock when I sent out the newsletter. I was shocked when it sold out in less than 2 hours! Plus, I now have 50 people on the waiting list for the next batch! This is the biggest response I've ever gotten for a product in my newsletters.
Currently I have another 70 copies on order. Once again, I have no idea when they will arrive. The estimate is "2 to 4 months." Not very helpful, but at least they are supposedly on their way to me. 

So . . . I have about 50 people already on the waiting list . . . and I'm supposed to get 70 copies. Therefore, the next 20 people who email me at and ask to be put on the list for the upcoming shipment will be the next lucky ones! 
#3. What happened in March  
By the end of March, I had 103 people on the waiting list, so I ordered another 50 copies . . . for a total of 120 copies.   
#4. Current update  
I finally received all of the books in June.  They accidentally sent me 30 copies more than I ordered, so I received a total of 150 books.   
As soon as the books arrived, I emailed the 110 people then on the waiting list.
62 of them ordered their copies and I mailed them out to them. (Thanks to you all!) 
31 of them emailed back saying they decided they didn't want it, or had ordered it elsewhere.
17 of them never responded to my numerous emails, so I don't know if they want their copies or not.  
So, I am currently up to my ears in 88 copies of this amazing book and CD set!  
As I've mentioned before, I feel that The Complete Carolan Songs & Airs is one of the most important books for Celtic harp players.  That's why I was willing to go to all the trouble to get it for my customers.  
If you want a copy, please order it as soon as possible.  I might have copies in stock for the next 1,000 years . . . or I may run out in the next month.  It is all up to you!  
You can read my customers' reviews of this book.  Here are some excerpts.
Maris Whetstone: All I can say is, this book is amazing. I was very impressed by the amount of research that went into this book, as evidenced by the long list of sources included in the Bibliography and Principal Manuscripts sections. My favorite discoveries in this book are found in the many notes and stories that share the history and meanings of the songs included within. . . . If you enjoy the music of O'Carolan, you will never regret treating yourself to a copy of this music.
Amelia Gerlach: This is a wonderful compilation of Carolan's work - I am so glad I bought it! It has the words and complete harp arrangements. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Carolan!  
Alice Grove: This book represents so much. It touches on the varied history of our instrument. The music can be played and enjoyed by students and professionals. The student can grow with the book. As one learns the music you can play with the CDs included with the book. Or just enjoy the CDs at your leisure. Every time I use this book I get an insight into Carolan's strength and character and the friendship with those he encountered. Writing this book was obviously a labor of love for Caitriona Rowsome and it is an honor to own it.  
Nancy: I am so happy I held out for the back-order of "The Complete Carolan Songs and Airs". It is a fascinating book on many levels. There are some interesting scholarly facts for those of us who like to learn a bit more about the music history. I did not know these songs were sung (well, OK a few you sing in the pub) and therefore the chromatic embellishments were more specifically for the singer (just a tidbit). The lyrics are given in Gaelic as well as English. Since O'Carolan was composing during that time when we were morphing into diatonic tonalities but not there yet, I find the melodies to be exquisite and rather exotic. Ms. Rowsome has harmonized the pieces in different styles to give one an idea of the motifs used at the time historically by 18th century harpers. It provides different stylistic possibilities for the various gigs and airs. Just what I was looking for. The harmonies are at times very unusual from the direction I would expect and very pleasing to my ears. It provides me with a lot of material to think about in arranging Celtic pieces. The CD's that come with the book are beautifully recorded. You could just play them for the joy of it... or use them to learn... or if you really want to up your Celtic game practice learning them by ear (and you have the written music to refer to).... Oh my gosh, it's a total delight!
Christina Sansone: Rowsome's book is an epic work of dedication for any harpist who is serious about Irish music. Thorough and well-researched with extensive citations to further information and background--enough to satisfy any O'Carolan freak! The arrangements bring out O'Carolan's iconic style and the CD recordings illustrate how the music can be accessible to any player from beginner and beyond.  
PDFs Extravaganza RobinMusic for the visually impaired
Back in 1982, my Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp book was transcribed into Braille by the Minnesota State Services for the Blind and The National Braille Association. I know of several blind harp players who learned to play using this Braille book.  Unfortunately, it is no longer available.*
However, there is now an alternative for blind and visually impaired harp students! Harpist Christina Cotruvo has transcribed my Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp book, as well as several other harp music books, into the No-C-Notes® audio format.  
No-C-Notes® is a music notation audio reading method giving tones and timing shorthand names.  With No-C-Notes you listen to your sheet music being read verbally in the same manner as you would use an audio book.   
Sylvia's Teach Yourself book on No-C-Notes 
Christina's No-C-Notes® 100% audio description of Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp includes all of the printed music and exercises, and narration of all chapters. It also includes the introduction and appendix sections containing information on harp history, how to hold and tune your harp, and much more. Plus you get to hear all of the pieces played in full, and in sections.    
Here's how this works.  For each piece, you get a set of sound files.  In the first one Christina reads the title, introduction, composer, time signature, tempo markings, and any other explanations written on the page. You then hear the entire piece. In the following sound files she plays a short group of measures, and then describes every note, fingering, and bracket.  For example:
"Pick-up measure through measure 4. Right hand. 
Pick-up measure. Begin bracket. Finger 3 eighth C5. Finger 2 eighth D5.  
Measure 1. Finger 1 quarter E5. End bracket. Begin bracket. Finger 1 eighth E5." etc.   
Click here to listen to the track describing the first 4 measures of Sheebeg Sheemore.
I don't sell this No-C-Notes® version of my Teach Yourself book, but you can order it directly from Christina Cotruvo's website for $79.95.  It includes 6 zip files of MP3 tracks ranging in size from 110 MB to 131 MB for a total of 746 MB. 15 hours 38 minutes of recorded time.  
Christina also has transcribed Laurie Riley's Play the Therapy Harp into the No-C-Notes® format.  
Piano octaves
Please note that the octave designations in No-C-Notes audios are based on midi octave numbers (shown here), with octave 1 being the lowest octave.  This is the opposite of pedal harp octaves, where the 1st octave is at the top of the harp. 
  *If anyone knows of any Braille versions of harp music currently available, please email me and let me know.  
MonthSaleThis month's sale
50 years ago (1968) I graduated from high school.  
40 years ago (1978) I wrote and published my first book, Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp.   
To celebrate these two anniversaries, all of my Teach Yourself products are 20% off, as well as many of my publications that include exactly 40 or 50 pieces.   
To get the 20% discount on the products below, enter the code word anniversary in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by July 31, 2018. For more information, see the 20% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter.       

promocodes20% off select sale items when you use the code word: anniversary

Our newsletter promo codes are only redeemable online 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 anniversary and it is good for 20% off the select books, PDFs, and CDs in the sale section above. Just because an item is mentioned somewhere in this newsletter doesn't mean that it is on sale. It must be listed in the sale section.   
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 anniversary 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 anniversary in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by July 31
to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email Sylvia immediately.   

Offer expires at the end of the day on 7/31/2018.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (808) 212-9525

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