Celtic sheet music "She Moved Through the Fair" is a haunting melody telling a strange love story, one of those sad love songs that young girls find irresistible!
Now with a flowing piano accompaniment. Your students will want to sing - and play - this beautiful free Celtic music.
Here is my favorite musical rendition (today) of this Celtic love song. The name that goes with the performers is "Tir Eolas":
It's hard to pin down the chords
My chord symbols are just suggestions - these are the harmonies I hear when I sing or listen to this Celtic music.
Below is an arrangement similar to the way I play this when I accompany my vocal students.
Here is a closeup look at this piano arrangement:
Big open chords can make a floating feeling
I have had several teenagers working on a lead sheet version of She Moved Through the Fair, and they were mesmerized.
Really! The melody itself is haunting, then when you add the big open chords, it gives it a feeling of echoes, of spaciousness, of floating.
The arrangement is perhaps over-simple, but I really wrote out what I am having my students do WITHOUT THE PIANO SHEET MUSIC - this is what they are doing with the plain lead sheet at the top of the page.
Help them interpret chord symbols
I always write in the chord inversions as slash chords, since this is how they will encounter these chords in church music.
Bb over F... is just a Bb chord, but with the F note on the bottom instead of the root of the chord, Bb.
The walking bass is powerful
My students really love the feeling of movement that comes halfway through, when the chords leave root position and begin climbing in the bass.
I point it out to them and I think it gives them a sense of control to understand how this works. The bass notes walk up, then back down...
Vary each verse to keep it fresh
As lovely as the big open broken chords are, you want some variation from verse to verse in the piano part.
Try bringing the accompaniment up higher for the penultimate verse (the one just before the final verse), then back down again for the final part.
"Still" chords can feel significant - or ominous
Leave off the broken chords and play solid, non-moving, quiet chords for a bit.
I guarantee that your audience will lean in closer to find out what the "hush" is about!
Does this piece have a true meter?
Even though this is, apparently, a traditional tune, the melody of this song doesn't vary much from one rendition to another.
However, you will hear the underlying pulse of the song change, sung by different singers in EITHER 3 beats OR in 4 beats, (as I have notated it here). Or in BOTH at the same time.
And frequently, singers don't seem to have ANY underlying meter at all for this song. That doesn't always work, but with this spooky piece it can be pulled off.
I suggest you listen to many versions of She Moved Through the Fair and decide how YOU want to sing it.
Two more - and very different - renditions
On the other hand, the following strong and beautiful performance by Caitlan Grey feels almost (but not really) metrical. This version is apparently for sale on her website, www.caitlangrey.com.
Now here is a truly SPOOKY and artistic video (sung by Hayley Westenra) that I love of She Moved Through the Fair...
This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This", available as a digital download, tells the riveting story of the time when Jews in ancient Persia faced a foe named Haman, and how a brave young queen risked her life to save her people.
A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theater production, or a class of children!
This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.
And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!" They will be spending more time at the piano.
Liz: Hello - I just want to say THANK YOU so much for the duet version ofOh Holy night (in Bb too!), which is great, as I have two students at school that are going to sing this in a concert in 3 weeks.
With not much time and no budget, it is so nice to find an arrangement! Thank you.
Carrie,Voice and Piano Teacher: This site is FABULOUS.
For all the reasons you explain on the site itself--this is exactly what piano teachers need! (I still need to go look at the vocal music). Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
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