Julia Kay Jamieson - harpist, composer, teacher


     The Young at Harp

This beginning harp book is a clear and thorough approach to learning harp technique for a beginner with previous music reading experience. The music is appropriate for both lever and pedal harps and has both exercises and solos. It is to be used with the help of a teacher.
Samples from "The Young at Harp":   see sample one     see sample two     see sample three     see sample four 

Available here:  lulu.com

  Animal Parade
This charming, four-harp piece imagines rhinos, monkeys, elephants, butterflies and other animals on parade. Suitable for early to mid-intermediate level harpists.
Between My Balloon and the Moon
For four lever or pedal harpists from early to mid-intermediate level, Between My Balloon and the Moon is a journey from earth to the stars. Several extended techniques are used to create varied texture over a sweet, simple melody ending in an outer-space disco.
The cross between robots and Lady Gaga led to a ferocious four-harp show-stopper. Suitable for intermediate level lever or pedal harpists, Bot.ga is reminiscent in form and contour of Gaga’s “Bad Romance”. Some extended techniques are used to enhance the overall feel of popular dance music.


“Constellations” is Julia Kay Jamieson’s contemplative, bluesy original composition for three lever or pedal harps. “It is spacious and relaxed,” says the composer. “In the middle, harpists are invited to take turns improvising a solo. It may be extremely short (one measure) or as long as they like. The solos represent their own personal “constellation.” This piece is a friendly, low-pressure way to bring improv and creativity to harp ensemble.


“Creatures” is an unusual sort of piece for multiple harps; other instruments can also be added. Alongside a quirky melody there are textural and melodic elements left up to the ensemble. Beginners as well as more advanced players have opportunities to improvise throughout the piece. All performers will be reading off the score so that they may jump around from part to part as determined by their ensemble. To prevent total chaos, there is a list of “rules” to follow. “Creatures” works best with 4 or more harpists of any level.



“Kitties!” is for three pedal or lever harps. The piece was “inspired by my two charming kittens and their very contrasting personalities,” says Jamieson. Two sections-”In Sunbeams,” and “The Chase,” are written while two additional sections-"Kitty Conversations" encourage playful improvisation. Perfect for student groups or any ensemble looking for something fun and new.

watch Kitties!



“Locomotive” is a jazzy original work by about the journey of a train as it becomes increasingly fast and ultimately flies off the track into oblivion. Dance and jazz rhythms along with some meter changes give the piece an exciting, forward-moving feel. While rhythms can be tricky in this one, it is a worthy and fun challenge for harpists at a late intermediate/early advanced level. “Locomotive” works for lever harps with some minor adjustments (octave displacement depending on the range of the harp).

One Time Around

The four seasons are illustrated each with a unique style in this harp ensemble piece. "solar power" sizzles with jazz rhythms, "falling down" borrows a little style from Pink Floyd, "snow ambling" has a quiet, "Gymnopedie" feel and "buds" borrows melodies and rhythms from the "Rite of Spring" and "Morning Mood" while keeping in a ska style. 

Lever harps with a smaller range may need to substitute some notes for the nearest playable note (for example, taking a note up or down an octave). In some cases, moving an entire phrase up or down an octave should be done to preserve its shape.               

Harp ensembles may choose to perform all movements consecutively starting with “solar power.” Each movement may also be performed separately.
"One Time Around" is for four late intermediate pedal or harpists.


Sea is a portrait of the ocean inspired by my time living in Oregon. In the first movement, I was thinking of the constant motion and sound of the sea- giant and powerful and also mysterious. There is this great place on the Oregon coast near Cape Perpetua called Devil’s Churn where the ocean pounds on rocks with deep rumbles and the waves break and splash in sharp high screams.  Extreme registers, nail glisses and thunder strikes help illustrate these sounds. The second movement is inspired by a calmer side of the sea along with the sky at night-the contrast of motion and stillness and where they come together.

Sea is for three intermediate lever or pedal harpists.

Inspired by Neil Shubin’s book, Your Inner Fish, Tiktaalik celebrates the discovery of a new intermediate between two types of creatures discovered in a paleontologist expedition and reflects on the ways in which living creatures are similar. Tiktaalik is largely an improvisational piece-some things are to be played as written, but often the performer is asked to play improvised notes within a given pitch group and register of the harp. Rhythms throughout Tiktaalik are strict; this piece was also inspired by early hip hop music.  Written in four parts for harp ensemble, there is also a “rap” version included. The group may choose to first rap the parts and then play them.  The score and parts each have a separate vocal study score and extended technique index.
Tiktaalik is for four or more intermediate lever or pedal harpists

Samples from "Tiktaalik":    see sample one    see sample two     see sample three 

Print Available here:  lulu.com
PDF Available here: harpcolumnmusic.com
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Julia Kay Jamieson  217/390.6474  harphands@gmail.com