janetharbisonlogo - the new home for the Irish Harp Centre!


Janet Harbison established the Irish Harp Centre in Co. Limerick, as a place of learning and a base for Irish Harping. 

She has now developed that work to become an international online centre for the Irish Harp. 

Containing a wealth of information and artices, and a growing collection of downloadable sheet musicCD'sindividual downloadable tracks and Janet's Tutor Books.  Janet now shares her extensive knowledge with individuals and groups in workshops, masterclasses and residential courses in Ireland and also in Europe, America and in 2018, the far east (Japan).

Janet continues with her performing and teaching activities around the world. She was recently appointed the Visiting Professor of (Irish) Music at the University of Ulster (Derry). 

She is also currently developing an online Irish Harp College.


Large Scale Works

Colmcille – A Columban Suite (70 minutes. 1997)
Oratorio for Soprano, Chorus and Harp Orchestra; (80 mins) narrative follows the life and times of the 6th century Irish saint, including some of St.Colmcille’s own poetry. Also arranged with visual projections. (Published on BHO CD: Colmcille).

A Christmas Cantata (80 minutes. 1993)
Suite for Soprano, Alto and Baritone solos, full chorus and harp orchestra (70 mins). 12 old Irish Christmas songs (including 2 Wexford Carols) and 3 original songs in Irish, English and Latin (some Macoronic). Available on commercial video.

Aifreann d’Arainn (Mass for Aran, 40 minutes. 1983)
Mass for voice, harp, uilleann pipes, fiddle, flute & piano (40 mins), adapted for RTE film music of ‘Posadh in Inis Oirr’ (producer: Eamonn De Butlir, directed Daith Connaughtan)

Smaller Scale Works

Battle of Alasdair (1991)
(17 mins) for multiple harps (min.12 parts) with solos: uilleann pipes (on BHO CD: Carillon) based on the epic harp composition on the death of Alasdair McDonnell (17th century), Lord of the Isles, at the Battle of Cnoc na nOs. (on BHO 001, Belfast Harp Orchestra 1792-1992)

Sacred Place (1999)
(16 mins) for multiple harps (min.4 parts)

Ulster Symphony (1994)
(15 mins) for multiple harps (min.8 parts) with solos: lambeg drum, fife, fiddle. Music includes themes of ‘The Boyne Water’ and ‘The Foggy Dew’ and presents the ‘story of the troubles’ in music (optimistically!).

St.John’s March (1984)
(12 mins) for multiple harps (min.3 parts) originally composed as harp solo for wedding of Thomas and Anne Donaghy at St.John’s Abbey, Kilkenny (on BHO: 006)

Saoire Samhraidh (1983)
(12 mins) Based on the poem by Maire Mhac an tSaoi, for unaccompanied SSA choir, won Oireachtas prize for new works for choirs, 1983.

Earth Water Wind & Fire (1992)
(11 mins) Composition for multiple harps (min.8 parts) celebrating the celtic spirits of nature’s elements.

Bright New Morning (1995)
(10 mins) for multiple harps, uilleann pipes and other trad instruments (on Polygram: Celtic Harpestry)

Liurach Padraig (1979)
(9 mins) for solo voice and harp, or choir and multiple harps (on BHO 003, Live in Downpatrick, BHO 008, Prayer)

Walk on Belfast (1999)
(7 mins) originally titled Walk on Cave Hill, the mountain overlooking Belfast Harps (on Polygram: Celtic Harpestry)

Laganside Reverie (1997)
(7 mins) for multiple harps (min.4 parts) composed for opening of Belfast Waterfront Hall

Fanfare (1999)
(7 mins) for multiple harps (min.3 parts) composed for reopening of Magee College, Derry. Also arranged for harp solo.

Carillon (1992)
(7 mins) Composition for multiple harps (min.4 parts), dedicated to Derek Bell (of the Chieftains) based on the idea of a peal of bells. Also arranged for harp duo, and harp solo (Title track of BHO CD: Carillon)

Tribute to O’Neill (1985)
(6 mins) Composition for multiple harps (min 2 parts) also arranged as harp solo. Won the Awen Trophy, Festival Internationale de la Harpe Celtique 1985 (on BHO 002, O’Neill’s Harper) Published Coup Briez, France.

Mo Mhathairin (1984)
(4 mins) Composition dedicated to Janet’s mother, harp solo (on BHO 002, O’Neill’s Harper).

Absent Friends (1985)
(4 mins) Dedicated to Prof. Basil Wilson (RIP) (on BHO 006, The Wedding Album).

Suantrai (for Daniel, 1998)
(4 mins) Lullaby for the comforting of Janet’s brother and his wife on the death of their son Daniel. For multiple harps (min 2 parts) also harp solo (on BHO 007, Colmcille with BHO and BHO 008, Prayer).

Love’s Comfort (1991)
(4 mins) Composed when homesick on tour in the US (on Polygram, Harpestry).