Lovely Morar

Annie Laurie

Cradle Song

There’ll never be Peace till Jamie comes Hame


Kind Robin loe’s me

A Man’s a Man for a’ that

Singing Strings

12 simple tunes for the small harp composed or arranged by Isobel Mieras

1 Singing Strings Beginner’s Reel.

2 Howgate Waltz Written for the children of Howgate Primary School.

3 An Eriskay Love Lilt.

4 Triad Duet Simple root position triads make an effective accompaniment.

5 Caprice and Doloroso Two pieces of contrasting mood. Play them as individual tunes, or join them together with a smooth lever change as Caprice-Doloroso-Caprice.

6 Brahms’ Lullaby

7 ‘Strusaidh mi na Coilleagan (The Cockle Gatherer) One of many lively and rhythmic working songs from the Gaelic tradition.

8 Old Lament A beautiful melody in the Dorian mode found in the Gesto Collection from Skye.

9 Buain na Rainich (Pulling Bracken) Yet another traditional working song, this time in rather a wistful mood.

10 An Ataireachd Ard (The Surge of the Sea) An emigrant’s longing to return home and finally be buried beside the sound of the surging sea.

11 Song without Words Originally written for a student with a temporarily disabled right hand!

My Love’s Bonnie when she smiles on me

The Wild Swan

The Lass of Paty’s Mill

Loch Rannoch

Bonnie Lassie Bonnie Gallawa’

Nathaniel Gow’s Lament for his Brother

Logan Water

More Tunes to Treasure

12 tunes for the small harp composed or arranged by Isobel Mieras


1 Ho! cha Cheilinn nach tu b’fhearr learn / Main Ghreannar

2 Derwentwater’s Farewell 

3 Blind Mary 

4 Derwentwater 

5 Arrane Ghelby 

6 All in a Garden Green 

7 Connel Bridge 

8 Return to Loon Mountain 

9 On a Bank of Flowers

10 Mrs. Joan E. Bailey 

11 Ossian 

12 An t-aparan goirid (Short Apron)




The Border Widow’s Lament 



Megett Valley Dam

Under the Water 


a harper's pleasure

A collection of arrangements of traditional Scottish melodies and original compositions for the small harp by Isobel Mieras

 1. Miss Graham of Inchbrakie Composed by Nathaniel, son of the great fiddler, Niel Gow, this tune lends itself well to the harp with its sweeping phrases. It has also been published under the title of Miss Duff’s Fancy.

 2. By Yon Castle Wa’ This melody, published by James Oswald in 1742 under the title There's Few Gude Fellows When Jamie's Awa’, was also used by Robert Burns in a beautiful and sad song which he wrote for Johnson’s Musical Museum. It commemorates the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and each verse finishes with the words "There’ll never be peace till Jamie comes hame".

 3. Main Bhan Og I first found this tune in Simon Fraser’s collection but, in common with other musicians, disliked the use of the sharpened seventh in this simple Gaelic air. Here in its modal version, the simplicity is appealing.

 4. Mrs E. Matthews of Ponteland Betty Matthews was convener of the Executive Council of Comunn na Clarsaich for fourteen years. She conducted all business meetings with charm, dignity and decorum, which is how the Air should be played. Nobody makes a party go with a swing better than she does, as in the first variation and dancing, as in the second variation, is one of her favourite pastimes!

 5. Geoffrey Newton An air composed to honour the first administrator appointed by Comunn na Clarsaich, it borrows the uniquely Scottish rhythm of the Strathspey as used in fiddle music. The first tune is straightforward and unassuming; the middle section, in the minor key, is gentler and more lyrical, and the ending should be played without any fuss or bravado.

 6. Kinloch of Kinloch Claimed as his own composition by George Kinloch of Kinloch, this melody has much in common with the Northumbrian song, Blow the Wind Southerly.

 7. Newcastle Bridge Composed by A. Mackintosh, this jig is named after the Newcastle in Ireland. Many harpers enjoy playing dance tunes and this one has an optional second harp (or other instrumental) part.

 8. Bunnahabhain The beautifully situated Islay village of Bunnahabhain (in Gaelic "mouth of the river") overlooks the fast-flowing waters of the Sound of. Islay and the majestic Paps of Jura. The music portrays the gentler waters of the river joining the tidal currents of the sea, returning to the more pastoral theme at the end. As Bunnahabhain is also the home of a most delightful single malt whisky, players may find an alternative, more convivial interpretation of the music!

 9. Harp Song This is a simple piece, requiring good legato playing and phrasing.

 10. Fear a’ Bhata Best known as the Gaelic song, The Boatman, a version of this tune is also found in Simon Fraser’s Collection.

 11. White Rose Waltz The white briar rose of Scotland became the emblem of the Scottish Jacobites who fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745. The middle section of this, in the minor key, reflects the sad outcome of that rebellion.

 12. Mrs Jamieson’s Favourite Charles Grant, the composer of this elegant melody, was a pupil of the distinguished fiddler and composer William Marshall (1748 - 1833).

 13. Clarsair In 1991 Comunn na Clarsaich, The Clarsach Society, celebrated its Diamond Jubilee. To mark the occasion students at the Scottish Agricultural College bred a new plant, Diascia integerrima, which is small but has profuse delicate pink flowers. This tune was written to thank the students.

 14. Stirling Syncopation Each summer I teach Clarsach at the University of Stirling Summer School. This tune was written in 1992 as a simple introduction to rag-time on the harp. It can be played as a solo, or with the optional harp part which gives a "double bass" effect.

 15. A Bheairt-Fhiod Described by Kennedy-Fraser as a weaving tune, this lilt should not only sound pretty, but should be played with a sense of fun and teasing, especially in the syncopated bars.

 16. College Hornpipe This very well-known tune is included in most collections of Scottish fiddle music. It lies well under the harper’s hand and it is fun to see how fast it can be played without losing the steady rhythm.

Tunes to Treasure

10 tunes for the small harp composed or arranged by Isobel Mieras

1 Ged a chaidh thu orm seachd (Although you have slighted me) 

2 Chapel Keithack

3 Love will find out the Way

4 Lulle me beyond Thee 

5 Saith nos Lau (Seven Light Nights)

6 Harps at Hamnavoe

7 Lochaber no more 

8 Now Bank and Brae are claithed in Green

9 Gartmore Gathering

10 Auld Lang Syne

Come under my Plaidie

Chro Chinn t-‘s Aile

Fagail Liosmor

Cold and Raw

Katie Bairdie

Sheebeg and  Sheemore

A’ Chuthag

The Sugar Brook

Farewell to Fiunary

The Wind that shakes the Barley

 1 The Wind that shakes the Barley I like this version of this well-known reel because of the lift given to the tune by the syncopation in the first and third bars.

 2 Low down in the Broom This tune, published in James Oswald’s The Caledonian Pocket Companion, is frequently used nowadays for Bums’ famous love song, A red, red Rose.

 3 Major Graham of Inchbrakie The great fiddler Niel Gow composed this fine Strathspey, which Burns chose and had published in Johnson’s Musical Museum, as the melody for A Red, Red Rose. 

 4 The Fall of Foyers Eas na Smuid This is a spectacular waterfall on the south shores of Loch Ness near to the home of the Fraser family. The tune is from The Airs and Melodies peculiar to the Highland of Scotland and the Isles edited by Captain Simon Fraser.

 5 Craigie Waltz Written for a harp course which took place at the Craigie Campus in Ayr.

 6 Ruairi Dubh Subtitled Roderick Dhu, the Clanalpin Chief, this tune is also from Simon Fraser’s collection. 

 7 An Cuala sibh mar thachair dhuinn Yet another from Fraser’s collection, this tune is subtitled Culloden Day. He simply describes it as "a song much in repute with Jacobites, lamenting their fate at Culloden" There are plenty of lever changes to organise before the harper gets to the heart of this beautiful melody

 8 Eilean Beag Donn a’Chuain (The Little Brown Island in the Sea) I love this Gaelic song. This arrangement is meant to portray the island shrouded in mist as the sun slowly rises.

 10 Sona’s Strathspey Written to thank my friend for her warm hospitality over many years.

 11 Deil tak the Wars This martial air comes from the Gesto Collection of Skye music

 12 An Euchdag The Sequestered Beauty is the fanciful translation of the title of this lovely melody, yet another from Fraser’s collection. The beautiful and talented lady’s music was apparently so enchanting that the birds stopped singing to listen. Another less romantic translation of the title is The Peahen!