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I should begin by saying that I am not a lap harp player (I work mostly with piano and guitar). I found this book while searching for period-appropriate pieces to use as incidental and dance music in a Shakepeare production I was working on. This is a well-produced volume of Elizabethan-era songs, in a variety of tempos, time signatures, and (mostly easy-to-play) keys. The print is clear and the arrangements are fairly simple and straightforward; they sound very nice when played "as-is," but they also can be embellished on the fly if you're comfortable with improvisation (trills, variations, etc.). I have seen more complex arrangements of some of these tunes in other books, but I found "Pastime With Good Company" very easy to work with. When I first used the book, I had a borrowed copy, but I've since purchased one for myself, and it has now proved useful for several Shakepeare productions, as well as for my own private study. Each tune has a short written introduction, sometimes explaining its origin or giving historical information about alternate verses. I've been impressed enough to look for other books by the author, and would definitely recommend to period music enthusiasts.
If you like Renaissance music, and play harp, this is wonderful. Interesting pieces, some easy, some challenging, some familiar, some not so, and all very well done. Her other books are equally enjoyable. I'm a beginner harpist, so if I can do these, just about anybody can!
I have already learned two songs in a short time from this book, and they are absolutely beautiful. I have a 22 string heather harp, and the music is perfect for it. Each song includes a brief history and some have the lyrics. I enjoy reading about the music just as much as playing it. The illustrations are also a treat, they are done by the author of the book. I recommend this book for any harpist. Thanks for reading this review!
Wanted to love this book, but was a bit underwhelmed. I finally figured out why some of the songs didn't make sense and had such poor transitions. My book skips from page 22 to 35 so is missing 12 pages in the middle making for a very incomplete and strange sounding piece. I didn't figure it out until after my "return or replace" window closed so unfortunately I'm stuck with a lemon and am missing several selections.