Most of the tracks in this collection are largely improvisation: just here we're looking at

Improvising a prelude

During renaissance & baroque times it was common to improvise a prelude before you got started in the performance proper; one of the reasons was to get the player and the listener into the right mood - and in the same mood as one another: another point was to check the physical, the harmonic, tuning within the instrument:

  • you tune first, then you test it a bit ...
  • you can use a scale - two scales - three scales ...

There are plenty of written examples, though it was always improvised at first: the teaching books from earlier times describe rather clearly how you do it.

These versions useQuickTime - there are YouTube version here

Pixie Harp - Stockholm version with audience
the first 2:30" are free improvising


Pixie Harp - diatonic model (3:42)

Christel Harp - the first 2:40" are free improvising - (7:03)

Pixie Harp - chromatic model (4:37)

Emperor Harp - the first 45", and two minutes from 2:40, are free improvising (6:44)


Heather Harp - improvising on "The Dark Island"

About the renaissance way of improvising in a group
- just as relevant today!

Four shorter examples under
'checking the tuning'
There are three longer examples of building a whole piece just on improvisation, using the Gildas harp here; audio only
And longer examples of free improvising to express feelings and bring healing here; audio only