This is a traditional Welsh lullaby, often used in harp therapy, whether for children or to calm someone of any age.
You will hear the melody played on lyre and left hand accompaniment played on zither. The second time through, both hands move up an octave.
This is the third of my
double strung experiments.
I’m testing my ability to arrange for, and play on two rows of identically tuned strings, in preparation for a double strung harp.
I’ve learned that if I can successfully play two separate instruments at the same time, then I’ll surely be able to play one instrument that just happens to have two rows of strings!
I have logistical problems now, that I won’t have with a double strung harp. Namely, holding two instruments is difficult, since both are designed to be held on your lap. Uh, my lap is taken up by just holding the zither, let alone adding the lyre, which is larger and wider.
Also, I currently have to twist my left hand into an unnatural position to reach the second instrument. This won’t be necessary on a double strung harp, where both rows of strings are stationary and on a vertical plane.
Finally, the harp will have a lap bar, and if that’s not enough, there is a shoulder strap as well. This eliminates any trouble holding or balancing the instrument on your lap.
Tuning is a cumbersome task now. It’s easy to tune the lyre, which has nylon strings like a harp, and I always do that first. However, tuning the zither’s wire strings to match the lyre is frustrating.
The real double strung harp will have all nylon strings, and that fact, along with the natural resonance of the instrument, will make tuning both rows of strings in unison much easier.
Recording is another frustration. You can probably hear that the lyre and zither aren’t at the same volume level in these experiments. That’s because one instrument is closer to the microphone than the other. This won’t be an issue with a double strung harp. The rows of strings are very close together, and the microphone will be in front of the harp, rather than to the side as it physically needs to be now. So, the harp will record with better balanced audio.
I’m also doing these experiments because of what to me is a very large financial investment in a double strung harp! I wanted to find out if the benefits it brings to my work are worth the cost. My conclusion is that, yes, they are, and the harp will be a welcome and valuable addition to the instruments I use in songwriting, accompaniment, meditation, poetry, improvisation, and other calming and inspirational music!
Once again, I thank you for reading! If you have any questions, comments, or feedback on these two-instrument experiments or double strung harps, please do share! Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy listening to these arrangements!