Karen Marshalsay

is creating music, tunes new and old, lessons, gigs & all things harp

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Official Patron

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If you're interested in supporting me and my harps in our musical adventures, getting a behind-the-scenes view of a harper's life and some exclusive content, then I'll happily share some of my creative processes, inspiration, work in progress and general chat with you in patron only posts, videos and music. You also get free access to my occasional Harp Hangs, and my thanks for your support.
  • Behind-the-scenes & exclusive content

Tunes Patron

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per month
If you fancy learning some new tunes and a bit more about them then this is for you. I'll share some of my favourite tunes and recent discoveries. You'll get a new tune each month with sheet music and a short tuition video, plus various other bits and bobs along the way including exercises, and other things like ornamentation and variations which are two of my favourite things, plus the general behind-the-scenes content. You also get free access to my occasional online Harp Hangs and my thanks for your support! Most tunes will be from my Scottish repertoire but there just might be some surprise visits to other parts of the world too, along with some of my own compositions.
This will focus on teaching the tune itself with a fairly simple left hand suitable for elementary/intermediate players and with some suggestions to make it your own or develop it further if you're a  more advanced player. I'll be using my gut-strung lever harp for this.
  • Learn a new tune a month with sheet music and tuition video
  • Ornamentation, techniques, & variations
  • Behind-the-scenes & exclusive content

Wired for sound

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per month
Do you play wire-strung harp? This tier works a little differently and is specially for you. You get the general Official Patron posts (which will have some gut-harp content as I play both, and probably some bray harp too) and your monthly tune might be the same as the Tune Patron one, but not all tunes work well on wire so some months you will get a different piece. Some of the tunes will be my own compositions. I'll record a teaching video on wire harp going over the tune, fingerings, damping and any techniques used, and you'll get the sheet music. This will be arranged in various formats to suit players of different levels and sizes of harp. Some months there will also be a another video and post with technique exercises. You also get the opportunity to join a wire harp exclusive zoom session/workshop each month where I can go over the piece, answer any questions and generally talk wire harp. You also get free access to my occasional online Harp Hangs and a 10% discount for my published books and sheet music (message me for details).
It would be lovely to work with some wire harpers on this and I thank you for your support!
  • Wire harp content
  • Monthly zoom wire harp meeting
  • Behind-the-scenes & exclusive content
  • 10% discount on my published books, PDFs & sheet music




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About Karen Marshalsay

It's great to see you here and I'd love if it you'd join me in this new online venture, whether you'd just like to support me and in return get to know a bit more about me and my music, or you'd like to learn some tunes, tips and tricks, I'm looking forward to sharing my music with you and creating a community here.

I'm a traditional Scottish musician playing all three Scottish harps - the modern gut-strung levered clarsach, the ancient sounding wire-strung harp of the Gaels, and the buzzing sitar-like bray harp. I perform solo with all the harps, and also with Boys of the Lough founder, the legendary Irish flute and whistle player (and singer) Cathal McConnell in his trio. My music is very influenced by the piping tradition, especially pibroch, having played with Allan MacDonald of the famous Glenuig piping brothers. My solo album, recorded at Temple Studios with producer Robin Morton, The Road to Kennacraig came out in July 2019.

I write a lot of tunes, both traditional in style and more contemporary modern pieces, and use a lot of ornamentation techniques in my playing. I'd love to share these, along with my creative process, inspiration and general news in return for your support. Thank you!


"one of the leading contemporary performers on the instrument" The Scotsman
"a highly accomplished player of traditional music and a fine composer of tunes in a living tradition"  Folking.com
"What emerges is Karen’s understanding and command of the accentuations and modes of pipe music, which is a feature that underpins both the lay-out and the musical slant of the album itself. The Road To Kennacraig is a compelling and well-wrought collection that veers to the left-field of the harp tradition and demonstrates the level of creative compositional strengths found therein." The Living Tradition
"One of the finest harpists in the world." Liverpool Sound and Vision
"That many traditional tunes originated as dances is clear from the rhythms; it is hard to sit still while listening to this CD. The music isn’t sentimental, but perhaps I am: the music plucks the heart strings as subtly as Marshalsay plucks her harps." London Jazz News

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