Songs for New Harpists

A lot of harpists remember fondly why they originally chose the harp and their very first days learning their instrument. No matter their age or musical background when they start, there is a lot of positivity and anticipation in bringing home their first harp and beginning private lessons.

However, with this positivity, there is also a common fear that new harpists share:


…They do not want to sound like a beginner.


It’s true that easier harp pieces have their purpose. They build our strength in our hands, our understanding of why hand position is important, and help us gather all the needed skills in harping. Yet, it doesn’t mean you need to be pigeonholed into only learning elementary-like songs. (Think Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.)


Rather, beginning harp pieces can still sound absolutely impressive.


We’ve created a list of songs that are very simple but are also songs you will want to save in your repertoire for years to come. (Some even have fancy glissandos!)

From the book “First Harp Book,” by Betty Paret:

  • Lavender’s Blue
  • The Wonderful Inn
  • Hymn of Thanksgiving
  • German Dance
  • Drink to Me Only


From the book “Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp,” by Sylvia Woods:

  • Southwind
  • The Grenadier and the Lady
  • My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose
  • Blue Bells of Scotland
  • Minuet
  • Ode to Joy
  • Robin Adair
  • Scarborough Fair
  • Greensleeves


From the book “Fun From the First VOL. I,” by Samuel Milligan:

  • Kol Slaven
  • The Northern Princess


From the book “First-Grade Pieces for Harp,” by Marcel Grandjany and Jane Weidensaul:

  • Lullaby for Violet
  • Little Waltz
  • Midnight Stars
  • Passing By
  • Melissa
  • El Numero Uno


From the book “50 Irish Melodies For All Harps,” by Sylvia Woods:

  • The Castle of Dromore
  • Cockles and Mussels
  • Sweet Carnloch Bay
  • Rosin The Bow
  • O’Donnell Aboo
  • My Wild Irish Rose
  • The Foggy Dew


From the book “50 Christmas Carols For All Harps,” by Sylvia Woods:

  • The Angels and the Shepherds
  • The First Nowell
  • God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  • I Saw Three Ships
  • Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel


We hope you find songs that you personally enjoy and can be proud of.


Happy practicing!!



Know any other great beginner songs? Let us know in the comments!