The Carolan Collection

Turlough O'Carolan was Ireland's most iconic harper-composer who left a legacy of over 200 tunes that are much loved and played today.  Born in Nobber, Co.Meath in 1670, moved with his family to Ballyfarnon, Co.Roscommon when aged 8 as his father was the blacksmith on the estate of the MacDermott Roes, an old Irish family.  When aged about 18, Carolan contracted smallpox, a disease rife in Ireland at the time, which left him blind.  As was usual for a blind person, he learned to play harp and trained to become a wandering minstrel so he could earn a living.  After only 3 years apprenticed to another harper, he set out to entertain the landed gentry, going from great house to great house playing, but also composing tunes that flattered and immortalised his patrons.  This was Carolan's great success and his praise-pieces were called 'Planxties'.  Apart from a small volume of tunes published by his son in London in the 1720s, Carolan's music was not notated until the 1790s when Edward Bunting was employed to transcribe it, and then, only the melodies were notated.  Harpers were always expected to 'arrange' or 'set' the tunes to their own taste and skill, but nowadays, many harp players like the arrangements to be made for them, and hence this collection.   Each volume has an average of 20 tunes and they are arranged in scale of difficulty with Volume 1 for beginners and Volume 5 for professional stage artistes.  Click on the volumes for the list of contents.

2001 - The Carolan Collection Vol.1 (Beginner)  

2002 - The Carolan Collection Vol.2 (Lower Intermediate) 

2003 - The Carolan Collection Vol.3 (Higher Intermediate) 

2004 - The Carolan Collection Vol.4 (Advanced) 

2011 - The Carolan Concert Collection  Vol.5 (For the concert artist) 


Harbison's 100 Easiest Dance Tunes for Session Harpers

This collection was created to support intermediate (Level 2) players keen to get into playing tunes in the traditional 'session'.  Of the 400 or so universally known dance tunes, this is the easiest of them for harp players to get their fingers on!  With relatively simple left hand parts, players will have a 'head start' to leading off sets of tunes themselves.  There is another book on 'The Art of Accompaniment' which is designed for session harpers - but this series is for the novice tune players.  All 5 volumes are at the same standard and contain 20 tunes each (each with Mazurkas & Polkas, a march, 2 slides, 2 slip-jigs, a set dance, and 3 to4 Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes per volume, all arranged in 'sets' (combinations suitable for the session).  All 100 tunes are presented in notation and lettering (for CCE learning) in Volume 6, The Tunes Volume (or 'Fake Book').  Click on the individual volumes for the contents.

All 5 volumes are available as downloads - straight to your desktop, tablet or phone.

2005 - Harbison’s 100 : 20 Easy Dance Tunes for Harpers Volume 1  

2006 - Harbison’s 100 : 20 Easy Dance Tunes for Harpers Volume 2  

2007 - Harbison’s 100 : 20 Easy Dance Tunes for Harpers Volume 3  

2008 - Harbison’s 100 : 20 Easy Dance Tunes for Harpers Volume 4  

2009 - Harbison’s 100 : 20 Easy Dance Tunes for Harpers Volume 5  

2010 - Harbison’s 100 : All 100 Easy Dance Tunes for any Melody & Accompaniment Instruments  

The Christmas Collection

The Christmas Collection is presented in 2 volumes, the first for Beginners - Intermediate players and the second for Intermediate - Advanced players.  Each volume contains 16 favourite carols and each is presented in two versions: Vocal and Instrumental.  The Vocal version is designed for you (or a choir) to sing accompanying yourself on the harp and the second is an instrumental version to play independantly of singing - which you may also use for instrumental interlude during a sung version, or taking a first phrase for instance as an introduction.  Click on the links for the volume contents.

The Christmas Collection Volumes 1 and 2 are available as downloads, straight to your desktop, tablet or phone.

2018 - The Christmas Collection Volume 1

2019 - The Christmas Collection Volume 2


Catalogue of music

catalogue of janet Harbison music

Janet has a large body of published work available to buy or download in the shop

You can view and download the Catalogue here (Pdf 3.0 Mb) 

40 pages of Cd's; Music books; Scores and Tutor books. 
There is an order form to print off and send.

See Janet's growing collection of published work to buy.

This list will be added to so to keep up to date, bookmark this page and check the Pdf often!