Sylvia Woods Harp Center 
October 2016 Newsletter
Santa electric guitar
 A Personal Note from Sylvia

Christmas is coming!  Have you started learning your Christmas repertoire?  If not, it is time to get going.  That's why, as part of this month's sale, every piece of Christmas music is on sale until October 25 with our "secret code."  See below for more information.

Once again, I'm proud to feature one of my former employees in this newsletter: Suzanne Guldimann.  Her books can be played on 26-string harps, but they are very popular with players of all sizes and types of harps.  I'm pleased to announce that two of her books of well-known and lesser-known Christmas carols, as well as her most recent publication of music from Jane Austen's era, are now available on my website as PDF downloads.  That means you can start learning the music today!

Also, in this newsletter, you'll find out how you can make your mark in the harp world by assisting me with my upcoming book.  Read the next article to find out how . . . .

Aloha and Mahalo (thanks),

Sylvia Woods
arrangerYou can help
"What time is it, kids?"
"It's Howdy Doody time!"
If you can sing at least the first two lines of the theme song that comes next . . . then you are in the proper age group to help me with my next book!

I usually don't tell anyone what music I'm working on, because I get tired of people bugging me, asking when the music will be finished. But if you promise not to bug me, I'll let you in on a little secret.  I'm currently working on a book of songs from the 1950s.  Since some of the aging baby boomers are starting to enter senior living facilities, harpist who play at these locations are getting lots of requests for songs from this era.  Many harpists use my Groovy Songs of the 60s book, but they also want some "older" hits.

So far I've finished about 20 arrangements. Here's a list of the songs I've completed or am considering.  Not all of them will make it into the collection, due to copyright issues, or just general "harpability" as I work on the arrangements. The artists listed below after the titles are generally the singers who made the songs popular.

26 Miles (Santa Catalina) - The Four Preps
All I Have to Do is Dream - Everly Brothers
Banana Boat Song (Day-O) - Harry Belafonte
Bonanza - theme from the TV show
Casper the Friendly Ghost - theme from the TV show
Dennis the Menace - theme from the TV show
Donna - Ritchie Valens
Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
Dream Lover - Bobby Darin
Earth Angel - The Penguins
Edelweiss - from The Sound of Music
Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
Getting to Know You - from The King and I
Goodnight, My Someone - from The Music Man
Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight - The Spaniels
Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
It's Howdy Doody Time - theme from the TV show
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) - The Tokens
Lollipop - The Chordettes
Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
Magic Moments - Perry Como
Memories are Made of This - Dean Martin
One Hand, One Heart - from West Side Story
Put Your Head on My Shoulder - Paul Anka
Silhouettes - The Tokens
Singin' in the Rain - Gene Kelly
Tears on My Pillow - Little Anthony
Teddy Bear (Let Me Be Your) - Elvis Presley
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
Tequilla - The Champs
'Til I Kissed You - Everly Brothers
Twelfth of Never - Johnny Mathis, Elvis, and more
Unchained Melody - Righteous Brothers
Venus - Frankie Avalon
Wells Fargo Wagon - from The Music Man
Witch Doctor - David Seville
You Send Me - Sam Cooke 

Here's where you come in.  What are your favorite 50's songs?  Email your suggestions to, and I'll consider adding them to this fun collection.  I make no promises, but you might get lucky!  Please email me directly using "1950" as the email subject.  Please do not reply to this newsletter.  That makes my life MUCH easier.  
thisMonthsSaleThis Month's Sale
This month's sale features Suzanne Guldimann's 3 PDFs of music for small (or large!) harps.  You can read all about her in her article below. Click on each product to see more information and a list of the songs in each publication.  Plus, as an added bonus, all of the music in our Christmas and Chanukah Books and PDFs category is also on sale!

To get the 15% discount, enter the code word holly in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by October 25, 2016. For more information, see the 15% Off section at the bottom of this newsletter.   
Green Grows the Holly
Regular price: $14.95
15% off with holly code

All of the 25 medieval and Renaissance Christmas carols in this collection can be played on a harp with a range of just two and a half octaves.    
Cold December Winds
Regular price: $17.95
15% off with holly code

This collection contains 25 early and traditional Christmas carols from Europe and America, researched and arranged for harp by the author. 
Netherfield Ball
Regular price: $15.95
15% off with holly code

Music drawn from and inspired by the collection of printed and hand-copied music that belonged to Jane Austen and her family.
Also, EVERY piece of Christmas music we sell is also on sale! 
Yes, every book, sheet, or PDF in our " Christmas and Chanukah Books and PDFs" category is on sale with the holly promo code through October 25, 2016. 
RobinOur Featured Arranger: Suzanne Guldimann
Suzanne Guldimann is our featured arranger this month.  Here's what she has to say about herself and her music.

I grew up in a house full of books. Perhaps it's not surprising that I first encountered harps not in a recording or a concert hall but in the pages of our household library. There were harps among the breathtakingly beautiful illustrations and in the stories in the old volumes of fairytales, and I lingered long and often over the old Irish tale of how the Dagda defeated the enemies of Ireland with the three magics of his enchanted harp. Thorin Oakenshield brings a harp to Bilbo Baggin's Unexpected Party in The Hobbit, and later there are magical "golden harps strung with silver" in the dragon's treasury under The Mountain that never need tuning. In Elizabeth Janet Gray's Newberry Award-winning novel
Adam of the Road, the protagonist is a young medieval harper, and in Nancy Bond's String in the Harp
an ancient tuning key connects modern day children with a legendary harper.  

I was 12 when I read Patricia McKillip's Harpist in the Wind. I wanted more than anything a harp like the harps in that book, a harp strung with the wind. However, even a more conventional Celtic-style harp strung with nylon was a tall order in the era before the Internet.

Suzanne's Cat
My parents were supportive. They ensured that my brothers and I had the opportunity to take piano lessons and encouraged my interest in the harp. After months of searching and making calls all over the country, we found Triplett Harps, then located in Santa Barbara. The wonderful concert harpist Carmen Dragon was my first teacher. I was her first Celtic harp student. We learned a lot together. 

I began studying with Sylvia Woods during my first year in college, driving nearly 100 miles round trip each week in a contrary car nicknamed the Mule for lessons at her studio in the little yellow house in Glendale, California. I loved my first harp, but you couldn't exactly throw it on your back and head out the door in search of adventure. I was ecstatic when I finally acquired a "lap" harp -- still too big to be a lap harp for anyone smaller than a giant but small enough for traveling. That harp went everywhere with me. However, I swiftly found there was almost no sheet music available for small harps.

Although piano never caught my imagination the way the harp did, all those years of lessons proved tremendously useful. With Sylvia's guidance I learned the nuts and bolts of music theory, building on my piano background, and began to create my own arrangements tailored specifically to the range of smaller harps.

I published Green Grows the Holly, my first collection of Christmas carols arranged for lap harp, in 1998.  It was an entirely home grown effort, assembled on my first Apple MacIntosh, and decorated throughout with my own woodcuts and pen and ink illustrations. When I was little I wanted to be a writer and illustrator when I grew up. I didn't know it then, but that book was the first step toward my childhood ambition, if not in the way I had visualized. Perhaps that's why
Suzanne woodcut print
I chose the name West of the Moon Books, in part for the fairytale about the red haired girl and the Great Bear of the North and partly for J.R.R. Tolkien's poem that goes: 

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.

Seven more books of music followed the first in fairly rapid succession. After a detour that included a master's degree in fine art painting and a seven year sojourn as a journalist, I returned to music, publishing my ninth harp book in June of this year. It's a tribute to Jane Austen and the music of her era titled Music for the Netherfield Ball, and connects back to a lifelong love of books. 

Suzanne Netherfield logo
Netherfield Ball was my first title to appear as an ebook as well as a print edition. Sylvia, who encouraged me to publish my first book back in 1998 is now encouraging me to reformat my earlier books and make them available as digital downloads. I opted to start with two of the oldest books Green Grows the Holly, and Cold December Winds, a technical challenge because the software they were created with is nearly as old as the dinosaurs and equally extinct. The ebook editions are a careful reassembly of all the original elements. The reconstruction will enable me to keep the print editions in print, as well.

I am currently working on my 10th book of harp music and my first novel: a children's book about a harp. I hope one day it may inspire others to dream. I also recently started a blog to share some thoughts on harps, music, writing, and art:

There's an indescribable magic in playing the notes in a faded manuscript for first time and hearing the music they preserve live again. As harpers and harpists we are the keepers of an ancient and remarkable musical heritage. I'm glad to be part of that tradition and part of this creative, amazing, and ever-evolving community.  -- Suzanne Guldimann

The photos in this article are:
   1. Self portrait.  I like to do my arranging on my old Triplett Celtic. It's easier to juggle harp, pencil, and manuscript paper if I don't have to balance a lap harp.
Snow Queen
   2. Pip, West of the Moon Books resident muse, guards my wire-strung lap harp.
   3. A print from the original woodcut that I carved for the cover of Green Grows the Holly.
   4. The "harpy" I drew for the cover of Music for the Netherfield Ball was inspired by the harp image on the Regency era Irish farthing coin. 
   5. The Christmas spirit on the cover of   Cold December Winds is one of my most popular illustrations, turning up in an astonishing number of locations on the internet, including on a website of tattoos.
promocodes15% off select sale items when you use the code word: holly

Our newsletter promo codes are only redeemable on-line, and can only be used for the books and PDFs featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone or e-mail orders. This month's code word is holly and it is good for 15% off the 3 PDFs featured above, plus ALL of the Christmas books, sheet, and PDFs we sell.
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 holly 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 the this month's code word holly in the Promo Code box
and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by October 25
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 10/25/2016.
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
  (808) 212-9525

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