Friday, August 2, 2013

Tune of the Month for August 2013: Summertime

Our first ever chromatic tune of the month is "Summertime" by George Gershwin, from the opera Porgy and Bess. Here's how the voting went:

Summertime: 11 (45%)
Over the Rainbow: 8 (33%)
Memories: 3 (12%)
Getting to Know You: 2 (8%)

Some YouTube videos:

Here's some sheet music to start you off. Other keys available upon request!
Josh Birch's version (Am)
Cathy Britell's version (Am)

The link to the YouTube playlist will appear here as soon as a video is submitted.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Theme of the Month for August 2013: Show Tunes

Jazz standards: 4 (16%)
Classical music: 6 (27%)
Jewish tunes: 4 (18%)
Show tunes: 8 (36%)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner for August's chromatipalooza: show tunes it is! Please nominate your favorite chromatic show tune, either by posting your suggestion below or by e-mailing it to We'll start the voting in a week.

Nominated Tunes:

Getting to Know You
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Poll: Theme of the Month for August 2013

Most of the time here at TOTM we try to keep the tunes diatonic-friendly, but a few times a year it's good to have an opportunity to go all-out chromatic, too. This August will be our first chromatic tune of the month! The choices are:

  • Jazz standards
  • Classical music
  • Jewish tunes
  • Show tunes

Please vote on one of these possible themes using the poll in the upper right, and share your ideas for your favorite tunes to go with your chosen theme. Remember that nominated tunes should require a chromatic 'harp to qualify for August's theme. As the suggestions come in, I'll list them below.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Site Index

General Information

Home Page
How to Post Audio-Only Recordings
Contact Us

Tunes and Themes of the Month

Future Theme Suggestions
All Tune Suggestions

Month Theme Tune
June 2013 Star of the County Down
July 2013 Waltzes Tennessee Waltz
August 2013 Show Tunes Summertime

Tune Suggestions

It's a shame we can't have 10 tunes of the month every month so that we could all have the chance to play every fantastic nominated tune. Here is a list of all the tunes that have been suggested but not picked yet. If you find one you like, please suggest it so we can get it back into the running for a future month!

Amelia's Waltz (audio)
Anna's Waltz (audio - thanks to Karen Torell Hoffman!)
Getting to Know You
The Hills of Lorne (video)
Dreamer's Waltz (video)
Leaving Lismore (video)
(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow Runner-up for August 2013
Planxty Irwin (video) Runner-up for July 2013
Seamus O'Brien Waltz (video)
Tombigbee Waltz (video 1video 2)
Waltz Across Texas (video)

Tune of the Month for July 2013: Tennessee Waltz

This month's tune is Tennessee Waltz, written in 1946 by Redd Steward (lyrics) and Pee Wee King (music), made famous by Patti Page's 1950 recording.

Here is some sheet music in a few different keys/versions to start you off!

Chromatic in C
Chromatic in D
Diatonic in C
Diatonic in D

The YouTube playlist of submitted videos is here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Contact us

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, rants or raves, feel free to send an e-mail to, or just fill out the contact form below!

Theme of the Month for July 2013: Waltzes

Our first democratically-elected Theme of the Month is: Waltzes. For those who are interested, here's how the votes break down:

Stephen Foster: 7 (19%)
Appalachian: 9 (25%)
Waltzes: 18 (50%)
Summer: 2 (5%)

If you were pulling for one of the other categories, don't worry: we'll give them another chance later on!

For the moment, though, we need some tunes to choose between. Please nominate your favorite waltz, either by posting your thoughts here, or by e-mailing your choice to us at For this month, please nominate tunes that are playable on a two-key diatonic 'harp -- we'll go for something more chromatic next month!

Beginning next week we'll vote on the four tunes that have been nominated by the most people. If no two people pick the same tune, I'll just have to draw them out of a hat.

Nominations are now closed. The most-suggested four tunes are in the poll in the upper right: please vote for your favorite! Here are all of the suggestions:

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Posting Audio-Only Recordings

NEW: Send your recording to us at and we'll create a YouTube video for you to use!

If you aren't able to make a video recording, or don't feel comfortable with it, audio is great too! Here are some free and easy ways to do this, in order of preference:

1) Create an "audio-only" YouTube video. You can use Windows Movie Maker (Windows) or iMovie (Mac) to create a video with that plays a sound file that you supply, with a stationary image that you choose as the background. This allows others to find your recording just like any other YouTube video, and we can add it to the official TOTM playlist. This site has detailed instructions on how to do this.

2) Upload to SoundCloud or DropBox. You can put a sound file in your DropBox public folder, or upload it to your SoundCloud account, then post a link to the group. The link will only work as long as you leave the recording where you originally uploaded it, and other people will not be able to find it unless you give them the link, but it is an easy and fast way to share your recordings.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Suggestions for future Theme of the Month

If you have a suggestion for a future theme, please let us know by leaving a comment here! We'll maintain a running list below.


Tune Forms
Modern C&W ballads
Slip Jigs

Early music
Morris dance
Jazz standards
Children's songs

Time Period
Songs from the 60's
Popular music of the 30s and 40s

Songs about summer
Protest songs

Harmonic minor
Exotic scales
Unusual time signatures

O'Carolan tunes
Stephen Foster

Tune of the Month for June 2013: Star of the County Down

You are cordially invited to our inaugural autoharp tune-of-the-month festivities! We're very excited to start working on this tune learning and sharing project with everyone who would like to participate. Here's how it works...

To start things off, we've selected the tune "Star of the County Down" as an enjoyable, fairly simple piece that many people know, and which is both diatonic and chromatic-friendly. We'll decide on tunes by poll in the future, but we were anxious to get started this time!

Star of the County Down is an old Irish ballad and exists in many different versions (and even different time signatures!), so if you search around on YouTube you'll find all kinds of possibilities. Bryan Bowers has a lovely version on his album "Bristlecone Pine." There's some additional information here on Wikipedia.

For those who don't yet know the tune, here's a video of the very talented Ryan Carr playing it:

Sheet music of two different versions is available here:

Josh Birch's version in Am (4/4) -- downloadable audio here
Josh Birch's version in Em (4/4)

Cathy Britell's version (3/4, Em)

You can post your recording using the "Comments" box below. For more information about the TOTM project, visit the main pageThe YouTube playlist with all the submitted versions is here.

Poll: Theme of the month for July 2013

Thanks for visiting the Autoharp Tune of the Month Site!

While you're working on recording this month's tune, Star of the County Down, help us pick next month's theme! Between June 1st and June 15th, you'll be able to vote on one of four options for the July tune of the month. Once a theme has been democratically selected, we'll ask for suggestions of tunes to go with that theme.

To vote on the July theme, just select your choice in the poll in the right-hand margin! Feel free to post any thoughts, tune suggestions for your chosen theme, or anything else here as well.

To suggest other themes for future months, please visit the theme suggestion page.

Welcome to the Autoharp Tune of the Month Site!

The goal of the tune-of-the-month (TOTM) project is to learn new tunes, pick up new ideas and techniques, and be inspired! Each month we'll choose a new tune together; the idea is to learn this tune if you don't already know it, record yourself playing it, and post it back to this site some time during the month so everyone can learn from each other.

The best way to participate is by recording a video and posting it on YouTube with the tag "AutoharpTOTM". This makes it possible for everyone to see exactly how you're playing, and also for those unfamiliar to the autoharp to find your video on YouTube and be won over by it! If you'd like to participate but are unable or would rather not record a video, some alternative suggestions are here.

Some folks may be taking a personal risk by putting their playing on the line like this, so let's all please be kind and supportive, providing critiques only when specifically asked.

To join us in the current tune, click the link "This month's TOTM" in the Quick Links menu on the right. You can also vote on next month's theme or tune.

We can't wait to see and hear what everyone comes up with! If you have any questions about TOTM, feel free to contact us at