Sylvia Woods Harp Center
June 2014

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Sylvia Woods Harp Center logo
newA Personal Note from Sylvia Woods

It will probably already be July by the time most of you read this newsletter. 
But since I'm sending it at 5 pm Hawaii time on June 30th, I'm officially calling it the June newsletter.  I promise that the upcoming July issue will be sent in a more timely fashion, with news about my 5 brand-new harp arrangements that are currently being printed.

In a few days we'll be observing the 4th of July holiday here in the U.S.A. 
But did you know that there's another anniversary to celebrate this week?  Here's a hint.

57 years ago, on July 6th, 1957 John Lennon was performing at the St. Peter's Church Garden Fête with his band the Quarrymen. This is the historic day when he and Paul McCartney first met.

In honor of this extremely important anniversary, my Lennon and McCartney book and PDF are 15% off as part of this month's sale when you use the brenda code. (See the Save 15% section below for how to get your discount.)

Happy 4th of July, and Happy John & Paul's 57th Anniversary to you all,

P.S. I'd like to thank Glenn Gass for informing me of this anniversary, and providing the images.  Glenn teaches classes on the History of Rock Music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and is one of the world experts on the Beatles. He's currently enjoying a 1-year sabbatical on the island of Kauai. Thanks, Glenn!
  School  Brenda Bowen Cox


I'm starting a new feature in this month's newsletter, highlighting one of the composers or arrangers whose music is available through The featured composer's music will be that month's sale.  

 Brenda Bowen Cox 


I'm beginning this series with Brenda Bowen Cox, a composer/arranger from Arkansas who is best known for her books of music from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.   I've asked Brenda to tell us about herself and her music, and here's her response. 


What an honour for me to be included in this powerful line-up of harp experts who compose and arrange music for the harp!  When I was a little girl, I fell in love with the sound of the harp, but never got one until long after I had become an adult.  My mother is a pianist so my first instrument, of course, was piano.  I found out many years later that she had always dreamed of playing a harp.  I have always enjoyed arranging and composing music and finally put my pencil to the paper for the first time when I was in high school in an attempt to illustrate what I was hearing in my head.  There were no computer programs in those days to play it back, so I sat at the piano and played as I wrote, measure by measure.  I imitated Mozart, Bach and Schumann mostly.  Just after college, I discovered folk music, including what we know as Celtic music which I am especially drawn to although my tastes in music genres are fairly eclectic.


Cape Breton Bouquet My first two books are collections of tunes from Cape Breton.  In the summertime on "the Cape" it would be difficult to avoid music.  There are ceilidhs and dances every night all around the island.  One of my favourite Cape Breton pieces to play on the harp is the Glencoe March.  It is in my first book, A Cape Breton Bouquet , an easy arrangement and a fun tune to play as well.  The first time I went to the Thursday night dance at Glencoe Mills the directions I was given to get there were quite intriguing, and frankly, a little scary.  I was told to go south out of Inverness, turn left at the Mother of Sorrows shrine and proceed as the road turned to gravel, taking the fork in the road to the right, and continue to drive on.  Then I was told "when you think you have driven until you are hopelessly lost, you will be there."


It was exactly like that.  Just before I got to the parish hall, I could see a small light where cars were parked.  The little building was throbbing with the dancers' feet in rhythm to the music.  It is mind boggling to think of all the talented Cape Bretoners who have played those dances - Buddy MacMaster, Jerry Holland, Brenda Stubbert, Natalie MacMaster, and the list goes on and on.  Here is a YouTube clip of Neil Cameron, a young fiddler playing the Glencoe March      


For more information, you can check out  Cape Breton Island - The Celtic Heart of North America, and the Cape Breton Media Historical Society on Facebook.  Also, Glencoe Mills has its own page which includes a photo of the parish hall where the dances are held.  They call them "square dances" there, but they are not like square dances you may imagine in the US.    These 2 photos were taken at Whale Cove.  


My second (and easier) Cape Breton book, Another Bouquet, also contains some very light-hearted and simple tunes that really "dance" on the harp strings. I hope people will read the short explanations included with the tunes so they can feel more personally familiar with them.  I always like learning something about a tune and/or the composer as it gives me more information for my interpretation of the music.  

The most popular title in my sheet music collection has been Hymn of Promise by Natalie Sleeth. It was requested by a pediatrician in the NICU at the hospital where I play.  I use it a lot for all ages and I am very glad the doctor asked for it or I might never have known of this piece.   Here's a photo of my harp in the hospital nursery.   


Yes, I really do have a labyrinth in my backyard.  Anyone is welcome to come play in my labyrinth!





Geordie can't decide which piece he likes most, but I think he likes the one with the picture of the cat on the front.

 - Brenda Bowen Cox 

To get the 15% discount on Brenda's 7 PDFs listed below (as well as Sylvia's Lennon & McCartney book or PDF), enter the code word brenda in the Promo Code box on your shopping cart page and click "Enter Code" by July 10, 2014. For more information, see the "Save 15%" section at the bottom of this newsletter.     

 What a Wonderful World PDF  
Wonderful World
Brenda Bowen Cox has arranged this beloved song for advanced beginner to intermediate harp players. What a Wonderful World was written in 1967 by George Weiss and Bob Thiele, and Louis Armstrong's version made it an immediate classic. Brenda has adjusted the harmonies to make an easy, yet full-sounding arrangement with only one G# lever change. It is in the key of F (1 flat), with no fingerings. The range is 4 octaves, from 2 octaves below middle C to 2 octaves above. Two pages of music for lever or pedal harp. What a Wonderful World
is a piece of music to enjoy as the gentle, slightly jazzy swing of the tune carries you along. Just remember how Louis Armstrong sang it, and you'll have the right feel. This uplifting, optimistic piece is appropriate for many types of occasions.

Product #p7501
Regular Price: $
3.95 - Newsletter Sale Price:$3.36     
A Cape Breton Bouquet PDF

Cape Breton Bouquet
This book by Brenda Bowen Cox features the Celtic music of Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. She chose 10 pieces for this first book, two pieces of each of the five forms traditionally found in the music of Cape Breton: air, march, strathspey, reel and jig, arranged for solo lever or pedal harp. Since many of the tunes should be played quickly, and some are rhythmically challenging, it is for intermediate players. Chord symbols  included. The pieces are in the key of C, or 1, 2, or 3 sharps. Two  pieces require sharping lever changes. There are no fingerings. 24 pages.

PDF #p7454

Regular Price $12.95
Newsletter Sale Price
 Another Bouquet PDF 

Anotehr Bouquet
Another Bouquet is the second in Brenda's series of collections featuring music played on the island of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. This volume is a bit easier than Brenda's first book.
 The 12 easy-to-read and easy-to-play tunes are in the keys of C, D, G and A with no lever changes. Arranged for lever or pedal harp, the lowest note in the book is D below the bass clef and the highest note is C just above the treble clef.There are 3 airs, 3 jigs, 3 reels, a march, a strathspey and a hornpipe.  Chord symbols are included, but no fingerings. 32 pages, including 19 pages of music. 


PDF #p7447

Regular Price $12.95
Newsletter Sale Price
Cradle Song PDF

This lovely lullaby by Scottish musician James Scott Skinner (1843 - 1927) has been beautifully arranged for harp by Brenda Bowen Cox. It is in the key of D (2 sharps) and the lowest note is the D that is almost 2 octaves below middle C. Although there are chords in the introduction and between the verses, the melody is just a single line. The left hand is arpeggiated passages and oscillation. There are no sharping lever changes in the piece, and no fingerings.

Brenda mentions that she finds this piece "to be very useful for therapeutic purposes." We agree, and we know that this soothing piece will be a great addition to your repertoire.


PDF #p7446

Regular Price: $
Newsletter Sale Price:
Hymn of Promise
Brenda plays therapeutic music in a neonatal intensive care unit. An attending physician there requested that she learn this beautiful piece
 by Natalie Sleeth. Brenda writes that "its soothing melody and cadence have comforted many patients." The music is 2 pages long, in the key of F (1 flat), with no fingerings. There are two C# lever changes. For advanced beginners.

PDF #p7458

Regular Price: $
Newsletter Sale Price:
The Mill, Mill O PDF
The Mill, Mill O is a lovely air composed by the famous Scottish fiddler Niel Gow (1727-1807). Brenda's 1-page arrangement of this tune, for advanced beginner to intermediate harp players, is in the key of C, with no fingerings. This PDF also includes a page with the melody line and a harmony line written out for solo instruments.

PDF #p7452

Regular Price: $
Newsletter Sale Price:
In the Treetops PDF
This 2-page original composition by Brenda Bowen Cox is very fun to play. It feels like you're swinging through the treetops! It is in 3/4 time, and the eighth note patterns alternate between 3 groups of 2, and 2 groups of 3. It is in the key of F (1 flat), with no fingerings. There are a few times when the left hand jumps up to play a high chord. For advanced beginners.

PDF #p7455

Regular Price: $
Newsletter Sale Price:
Lennon and McCartney for the Harp
arranged by Sylvia Woods  


46 of the most popular songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney have been arranged for the harp by Sylvia Woods. All of these Beatles songs can be played on both lever harp and pedal harp. When necessary, there are separate arrangements for lever harp players who tune their harps to 3 flats, as well as lever harps tuned to the key of C. A few songs have separate pedal harp arrangements. For intermediate to advanced harp players. Some of the pieces are quite easy, and others have extensive sharping lever/ pedal changes. Lyrics and chord symbols are included. 144 pages, spiral-bound.  

Regular Price $32.95 - Newsletter Sale Price $28.01 
codeOur newsletter promo codes are only redeemable on-line, and can only be used for the products featured in the sale section of this newsletter. They are not valid for phone, fax, e-mail, or in-store orders. This month's code word is brenda and it is good for 15% off
PDFs by Brenda Bowen Cox, and Sylvia Woods' Lennon & McCartney book or PDF.


Here's how to get your newsletter discount at 

#1. Put the items you want to purchase in your cart. 
#2. On the page where you view the items in your cart, type this month's code word
brenda in the "Promo Code" box, and click on "Enter Code."
The actual price of the featured sale products on this page will then automatically change to reflect the discount. You'll also see a note below the Promo Code box saying the name of the promo code you entered, and the percentage amount of the discount.  


REMEMBER:  you must enter the this month's code word brenda in the Promo Code box and click "Enter Code" on your shopping cart page by July 10th to get the discount!
If you forget, or if you have trouble adding it to your order,
email us immediately.  
Offer Expires: July 10, 2014
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