Sylvia Woods Harp Center
August 2013

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Sylvia Woods Harp Center logo
newA Personal Note from Sylvia Woods
Island Rainbow

My move to Hawaii is getting closer and closer every day, and I'm starting to get quite excited!

Now is the time for me to find new happy homes for all of the items I'm not taking with me. So I've decided to have a 2-day Harp Sale and Yard Sale on August 16 and 17. If you are in Southern California, you should check out this "last chance" sale! See the article below for all the information. 

This issue of our newsletter also includes some interesting articles about harp music in braille.  I think you'll find them fascinating.

Remember, even though I am moving, I am NOT RETIRING. I'll still be here to help you and to offer you high-quality harp products.  I'll just be doing it from beautiful Kauai, Hawaii! For those of you who missed my big announcement a few months ago, you can read all about it by clicking on the Hawaiian shirt on the home page of

I hope to see you here for the big sale next week!

Harp and Yard Sale
Upcoming 2-Day  
Harp and Yard Sale!

Friday August 16  
Saturday August 17 
11 am to 4 pm

at our La Crescenta showroom in my home

4409 Lowell Ave, La Crescenta, California 91214* 

If you live anywhere in the Southern California area,
you'll want to come to this amazing 2-Day sale!

All in-stock harps will be 10% off for 2 days only!**
used 30-string Triplett Harps from our rental pool
one used Markwood King's Court 5 harp

Harp books, harp gifts, CDs, journals, & accessories (new & used)
Over 100 non-harp (piano, guitar) books of pop, Christmas & other music

Hawaiian artwork and gift items
Disney items
Christmas ornaments and decorations
Office and computer supplies
File cabinets and other furniture
Household stuff
and more!

*You do not need an appointment to come to our sale.  However, if you want to come at any other time, please make an appointment at (818) 956-1363.

**The harp sale is for in-store sales only.  If you know which model you want, please call Sylvia right away at (818) 956-1363 or email her at to reserve your harp and discuss your options.

Cash and checks preferred for all non-harp sales.
bronzeBronze Statue: Woman with Lyre Bronze Statue

One of the items that we have for sale is the beautiful bronze statue of a woman holding a lyre, that used to grace our Glendale store. It was appraised by the John Moran Auctioneers earlier this year, and included in their June auction in Altadena, California.  They estimated that it would sell for $2,000 to $3,000.  Unfortunately, there were no bidders.  I assume that this was because there were no harp or lyre players at the auction!
Statue side
Here's the official listing from the John Moran auction catalog:

After A.- E. Carrier-Belleuse 'Melodie' bronze

20th century, inscribed to base ''A. Carrier Belleuse / Hors Concours'' with title plaque inscribed ''Melodie'', depicting a classically draped woman holding a lyre and seated on a pedestal over an octagonal base mounted to a green marble plinth, the figure patinated in two colors,
32'' H x 18'' W x 14'' D, est: $2000/3000
Statue back

Condition: Overall good condition. General marks and scratches commensurate with age. Finish with rubbed wear and some oxidation.

Since this lovely bronze is almost 3' tall and weighs about 80 pounds, it would not be easy to ship.  So I'm hoping to find it a new, happy harp home here in Southern California.
Statue base
Although this beautiful statue was appraised at $2,000 to $3,000, I am selling it for only $1,000, or best offer. 

Please contact me at (818) 956-1363 or for more information.
GrainneBraille Harp Music Project Requests Our Help 


Braille Did you know that my Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp book and my 40 O'Carolan Tunes books are available in braille notation for blind harp students? 

I recently gave permission to Larry Smith to also transcribe my 50 Irish Melodies into braille.  In his recent email, he is also asking for help from the harp community.  Here is his request.

I am currently chair of the Music Braille Technical Committee of the Braille Authority of North America (BANA).  This committee is developing a new edition of the braille code for music.  The present edition includes very little mention of harp music.  Most harp music is very like piano music, and presents no problems for the transcriber.  However, we could benefit greatly from advice from a blind harpist who reads braille music, and/or a braille transcriber who has worked with harp notation.  Do you know of anyone who could give us some assistance?

We are particularly interested in learning how such things as the Salzedo pedal diagrams and markings for damping strings have been notated in braille.

Please pass our request freely to anyone whom you think might help.  I can be contacted at Larry Smith, or at (269) 381-4648.

So, if you read braille harp music, or you know of someone who does, please contact Larry. He would also love to know if there are other harp music books that are currently available in braille. It will be great if we can help in this important project! Thanks for your help.
Article2Braille Music Notation Explained 

Most of the blind harp students I've had throughout the past 35 years have been learning to play by ear.  I've only had one who used the braille version of my Teach Yourself to Play the Folk Harp book.  In the same way that sighted people have to learn to read printed music, blind students who already read braille letters still have to learn how to read braille music.  And, of course, since you need your finger to read the braille, you can only sight-read and play the music one line at a time.

My recent correspondence with Larry Smith (see article above) rekindled my interest in braille music and how it works.  I asked Larry to write up an explanation for this newsletter and he kindly agreed.  I hope you find it as fascinating as I have!

Braille Music in Brief

by Larry Smith


The braille cell. All braille consists of characters called cells, each of which is one of the possible combinations of six dots (or not-dots) arranged in two columns of three. There are 63 combinations, plus the space containing no dots. For reference, the six positions are numbered downward 1-2-3 in the left column and 4-5-6 in the right column.


Music in braille. Print music is a graphic presentation that is viewed all at once. Braille music is a narrative that is read by the finger, one cell at a time, and assembled in the reader's mind from the details. All of the information is there; it is not necessary for the braille reader to know what print music looks like.  


Notes. A note consists of the letter name of the note, given in dots 1-2-4-5 of the cell, plus a rhythm value given in dots 3-6 of the same cell. The octave in which the note occurs is given in dots 456 of the preceding cell.


Rests. A rest is indicated by a cell in one of four patterns of dots, none of which can be mistaken for a note.


Bar lines. Measures are separated by a blank cell.


Modifiers. Some signs, such as accidentals and accents, are written before the notes that they modify. Other signs, such as fingerings, slurs and ties, are written after the notes with which they are associated. Dynamics and other instructions are written before the notes on which they are to take effect. The order of signs is very strictly defined, since the meaning of a particular cell depends upon context.


Keyboard and harp music. Music that is printed using the grand staff is brailled in two successive lines, the first containing the right-hand music and the second the left-hand music. The combination is called a parallel, and is always introduced by the appropriate measure number at the margin, both hand-lines being indented from there.


Resources. Some very good places to look are:

National Braille Association:

American Foundation for the Blind: 



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