Styles and Ornaments



Letters and Numbers apply to marks in the attached sheet music.


Vocal Performance Types:

1) Free range

Example: storytelling with no apparent verse structure


2) Spoken verse/ poetry

Example: sonnet, edda, Minstrel Boy


3) Song (ballad)
Example: Maddy Grove, Barbara Allen



Stylistic Choices on the Harp:

A) Freeform

Example: Wandering play, accent phrases and low-complexity musical moments

Suggested use: meditative exposition, comedy or improv, Verses from Beowulf


B) Rhythm

Example: chords, regular arpeggios

Suggested use: a rehearsed story or poem, early-period poetry, song


C) Tune

Example: melody line, melody with bass

Suggested use: song, late-period poetry


[Note: these vocal performance types are mapped to specific stylistic choices for illustration only. Any of them can be mapped to any other, when the choice fits.]



  1. cross-harp
  2. arpeggios, walking chords
  3. harmonics
  4. call-and-response
  5. echo the last few notes of the melody line
  6. vary internal tempi


Suggested Reading:

Harp Exercises for Agility and Speed, by Deborah Friou


“Locksley’s E-Z Harp Method”, web article by Joe Bethancourt which may be found at:


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