Sylvia Woods Harp Center
March 2021 Newsletter
white Guinness towel
For several years in the early 2000s, I sold licensed Guinness logo products in my mail order catalog and website because their logo is an Irish harp. I sold clocks, rugs, beach towels, coasters, and neon sculptures. I included this disclaimer in the catalog: "No, we are not promoting alcoholic beverages . . . however . . . because of the cool harp on their logo, we are now very excited to offer official Guinness products!" I still use my white Guinness towel (with the logo shown in this image) whenever I go to the beach or the pool.

Since Saint Patrick's Day is coming up in a few weeks, I thought this would be an excellent time to talk about the Guinness Irish harp logo in the article below.

My Saint Patrick's Day gift to you is that all of our Celtic music is 15% off for the entire month of March when you use the Celtic promo code! (See the sale section for more information.)

Remember to wear green on Saint Patrick's Day, and play lots of Irish music on your harp!
-- Sylvia
The Guinness Harp
Last November, my sister Sheryl saw a short CNN segment about the Guinness harp logo, which inspired me to write to the company in Ireland. I got an immediate reply from Jessica Handy, an archivist for Guinness. She graciously permitted me to share this information with you.
Guinness logos
The original harp logo was based on the Brian Boru / O’Neill Harp that sits today in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. However, the Downhill Harp is on display in the Guinness Storehouse as a nod to our brand origins.

The harp, which serves as the emblem of GUINNESS®, is based on a famous 14th century Irish harp known as the "O'Neill" or "Brian Boru" harp which is now preserved in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. The harp device has been synonymous with GUINNESS since 1862 when it was used as a symbol on the first bottle label for GUINNESS. It was registered as a Guinness company trademark in 1876. It is because of the harp trademark that the Guinness company named its first lager ‘Harp’ in 1960.
Irish Coat of Arms
The harp is also the official national emblem of the Republic of Ireland and can be found on the Republic's coinage. However, there is a difference between the Irish government harp and the Guinness harp. As Guinness had trademarked the harp symbol in 1876, the Irish Free State Government of 1922 had to turn the official government harp the other way to differentiate between the trademarked Guinness harp and the official State emblem. The distinguishing feature between the two harps is that the Guinness Harp always appears with its straight edge (the sound box) to the left, and the government harp is always shown with its straight edge to the right.

The famous Downhill Harp dating back to 1702, on display in the advertising gallery in GUINNESS STOREHOUSE® in Dublin was purchased by Guinness in 1963 to ensure its continued preservation. The harp was made by Cormac O’Kelly of Ballinascreen and played by the blind harpist, Hempson (or O’Hampsey) in the 18th century. Hempson played in the traditional style, plucking the strings with his long fingernails. At 97, he was the oldest harpist at the Belfast Harp Festival of 1792, although he is perhaps most famous for his concert for Prince Charles Edward Stuart, or Bonnie Prince Charlie, in 1745.
FREE Harp Cover Coloring Book
Coloring Book Cover
Charlotte Turner is my friend, harp student, and helpful editor of this newsletter. She is also a member of the "Learning the Harp together!" Facebook group. Last week, she sent me a copy of a post from JennyRu Smith. It shows a photo of the cover of my Music Theory and Arranging Techniques book with the following caption:
Just got this book. Tempted to get distracted with colored pencils...

This post inspired me to create a PDF of 12 of my book covers for your coloring pleasure. Some of the pages are suitable for kids and crayons. Others are more intricate and require colored pencils. Thanks to JennyRu for her great suggestion!

2 book covers
2 book covers
"Professional Harpist" on "To Tell the Truth"
To Tell the Truth episode
The February 16, 2021 episode of ABC's "To Tell the Truth" featured a segment entitled "Who is the Professional Harpist?" Three contestants tried to convince celebrities Brad Garrett, Donald Faison, and Cheryl Hines that they were the harpist who had played for Barack Obama.

You can watch the entire "To Tell the Truth" episode on the ABC site. The harpist segment starts at 25:00. (Season 6 Episode 4.)

Congratulations to harpist Madison Calley for appearing on the show. And thanks to her for helping to promote the harp!
New music at
Rhett Barnwell has three new Christian PDFs, just in time for Easter.

Christ the Lord is Risen Today - for intermediate lever or pedal harpists.

Te Deum (We Praise Thee, O God) by Marc-Antoine Charpentier - for advanced intermediate lever or pedal harpists.

Now the Green Blade Riseth - for intermediate lever or pedal harpists. Rhett has set the old French tune, Noël Nouvelet, to the Easter text, Now the Green Blade Riseth.
This month's sale
This month's sale includes ALL of the music in our Celtic Music category. Over 100 Celtic books, sheets, and PDFs are 15% off when you use the Celtic code!

To get the 15% discount, enter the code word Celtic in the "Enter Promo Code" box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by March 31, 2021. For more information, see the "How to get the 15% discount" section at the bottom of this newsletter.
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Celtic code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Celtic code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Celtic code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Celtic code
arranged by Sylvia Woods
15% off with Celtic code
PLUS, all of the music in our
Celtic music icon
How to get the 15% discount
15% off select sale items when you use the code word Celtic

Our newsletter promo codes are redeemable online and are only valid for the products featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone or email orders. This month's code word is Celtic.

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 Celtic in the "Enter Promo Code" box and click "Apply."
The actual price of the featured sale products on this page will then automatically change to reflect the discount. For example,

   Unit Price: $9.95 (which is the original price)
   Total Price: $8.46 (the discounted price)

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 Celtic in the Promo Code box and click "Apply" on your shopping cart page by March 31, 2021 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 3/31/2021.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
Lihue, Hawaii
(808) 212-9525