Tag: harp

favorite tunes

Dargason – From John Playford to Gustav Holst –…

I have recently started working on a new tune with my student – Dargason.

This tune goes back to John Playfords book about dancing – it just one line of music with instructions how to dance to the tune.


On the abc notation website you can find this tune as well:


This tune is related to the very popular tune Irish Washerwoman which has a very similar melody in the first part.

Dargason is a great example what you can do with a simple tune when you work with it creatively. Swedish composer Gustav Holst who is best known for his “Planets” suite has composed the St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra. The Finale from this suite is based on Dargason which is played over and over while the other instruments play chords, accompaniment or counterpoint – including the usage of another famous melody – Greensleeves. A fascinating piece which was invented by working creatively with this one-line melody from the 17th century.

As this composition belongs to the public domain ther are no restrictions for arrangements. I was happy to find the following version played by the San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra:

San Francisco Mandolin Orchestra – Dargason

Playlist Dargason

Including versions for String Orchestra, lute, harp ensemple, maqrching band, percussion ensemble, recorder and more:

Sheet music – Dargason – The Dancing Master

In the Petrucci Library you can find the original source “The Dancing Master” by John Playford in several editions:

John Playford – The Dancing Master:

You can find the St. Paul’s Suite in the original version for string orchestra and in an arrangement for 15 saxophones.

Gustav Holst – St. Paul’s Suite:



Michel Corrette – Played On Mandolins – Joe Brent…

The playlist with videos played by Alon Sariel contains a video of a Sonata for 2 violins by Michel Corrette.

The sheet music for this Sonata is available in the Werner Icking Archive.

So – enjoy the video, download the sheet music, find a second mandolin player and learn to play this sonata:

Joe Brent and Alon Sariel play Michel Corrette

Sonate à deux Violons Sonata for 2 violins in A-Minor from the violin method L’École d’Orphée, Paris 1738

Alison Stephans and Lauren Scott (Duo Mandala) did also play a Sonata by Michel Corrette in an arrangement for mandolin and harp:

Sonate in D Major by M. Corrette DUO MANDALA

This is the third movement of the Sonata in D Major by M. Corrette performed by Duo Mandala (Alison Stephens – mandolin and Lauren Scott – harp) at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2009. This piece was edited for mandolin and harp by Alison Stephens and is published by Astute Music.

Read more “Michel Corrette – Played On Mandolins – Joe Brent and Alon Sariel – Alison Stephans and Lauren Scott”

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Farewell to Nova Scotia

The banjo player of my bluegrass band sung this song when we met last time – Farewell to Nova Scotia.  She grew up in Canada and moved back to Germany, and used to sing this song when she felt homesick.

This is a nice folk song, and there are many nice versions at youtube.

My favorite version up to now is the following by Bonnie Dobson – with some nice mandolin playing in the background:

Bonnie Dobson – Farewell to Nova Scotia

A very smooth version played with two harps:

Farewell to Nova Scotia – Ardyth and Jennifer

and a heavy version:

The Real McKenzies – Farewell To Nova Scotia

Playlist with many more versions, for example by:

  • Sons of Maxwell- Sons of Maxwell is a Canadian music duo who perform both traditional Celtic folk music and original compositions with a pop-folk sound.
  • Rising Gael – Rising Gael was named one of the “Best Celtic Folk Bands of 2010” by Marc Gunn on his popular Celtic Music Podcast!
  • Ryan’s Fancy – Ryan’s Fancy was a musical group active from the 1960s until the 1980s, all three of whose members were Irish immigrants to Canada.

Additional information

wikipedia about Farewell to Nova Scotia (with lyrics): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farewell_to_Nova_Scotia

Homepage The Real McKenzies: http://www.realmckenzies.com/Welcome.html

Homepage RisingGael: http://www.risinggael.com/

Homepage Sons of Maxwell: http://sonsofmaxwell.com/

Wikipedia about Ryan’s Fancy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan%27s_Fancy

Sheet music:





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Mandolin and Harp – M. Cleofe Miotti (mandolin) and…

Lucia Bova is a harp player from Italy. She has published many videos of her performances in her youtube channel, including many pieces for harp and mandolin.

I was surprised to hear those pieces, and especially to learn, that one of the pieces has been composed by a teacher for composition at this conservatory, Andrea Marena.

Maria Cleofe Miotti, the mandolin player, is the principal teacher for the mandolin at the conservatory Niccolo Piccinni, which is one of the places where it is possible to study the mandolin. This information can be found on the homepage of the Italian Federazione Mandolinistica Italiana:

Maria Cleofe Miotti, cattedra principale di mandolino, e Mauro Squillante, docente di mandolino presso il Conservatorio “N. Piccinni” di Bari

She is also the director of the Mandolinisti Bolognesi and the Mandolinisti di Parma, two mandolin orchestras in the North of Italy.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata in G minor, BWV 1020, Adagio (harp and mandolin)

M. Cleofe Miotti (mandolin) and Lucia Bova (harp) during their concert at Vatican Radio Studios in Rome. The concert has been recorded and will be broadcast on November 28th 2010 at 4 P.M. (Italian local Time). Miotti-Bova duo is performing a Sonata in G min, originally for flute and cembalo, known as BWV 1020 because erroneously ascribed to Johann Sebastian Bach, while probably was by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Both composers wrote for harp, C.P.E. Bach a Sonata for harp in G Major, while J.S. Bach probably composed Suite BWV 1006a for a Double Harp. In Baroque Era usually mandolin player performed music composed for flute or violin.

The following videos show the compositions by Andrea Marena, from the conservatory in Bari:

Andrea Marena, Sonatina I for mandolin and harp (harp and mandolin)

M. Cleofe Miotti (mandolin) and Lucia Bova (harp) during their concert at Vatican Radio Studios in Rome. The concert has been recorded and will be broadcast on November 28th 2010 at 4 P.M. (Italian local Time). Miotti-Bova duo is performing “Sonatina I (Berceuse antica and Rondeau)” composed for them by Andrea Marena. Marena composed six sonatinas dedicated to M. Cleofe Miotti and Lucia Bova.

Andrea Marena, Passacaglia (harp and mandolin)

Playliste “Mandolin and Harp”


  • Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto in D Major
  • Andrea Marena, Sonatina 1 und Passacaglia
  • J. S. Bach, Sonate in G Minor BWV 1020
  • Petrassi, Secondo Serenata trio (mandolin, guitar and harp)
  • Hans Werner Henze, Carillon, Masque und Récitativ (mandolin, guitar and harp)
  • Krumpholz, Sonate Op. 8 Nr. 5
  • Gianluca Podio, La solitudine dell’elfo
  • Fabrizio de Rossi Re, Absurd Napoli Diary
  • Giovanni Sollima, Slaps, Guts, Caprice de chaconne (Prelude, G-Raga, Caprice de chaconne after Francesco Corbetta)

Additional information

Youtube channel of Lucia Bova:

Website Lucia Bova

Blog (Italian) of the Mandolinisti Bolognesi conducted by Maria Cleofe Miotti:

Homepage of the Mandolinisti Bolognesi:

Presentation of Maria Cleofe Miotti on the homepage of the Mandolinisti di Parma:

Homepage of the Conservatory Niccolo Picinni in Bari:

More videos with mandolin and harp can be found in the youtube channel of US American mandolin player Joe Brent:

Alison Stephens from England and Lauren Scott (Duo Mandala) do also play with mandolin and harp. They have recorded a CD titled Tapestry