Gotham Harp Publishing
Gotham Harp Publishing is a harp music publishing company featuring quality transcriptions of early music and original works by contemporary composers, founded by Laura Sherman in 2012 in New York City.
GHP's editions are being used around the world: The GHP Bach Lute Suites/Sherman and the Zipoli Sonata/Jolles were required repertoire on the American Harp Society's 2023 National Competition. The Bach Cello Suites/Drake is required repertoire on the Australian National Harp Syllabus. And the felt glissando picks are used by harpists in orchestras and recording studios in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and London, amongst many other cities.
Transcriptions by Laura Sherman
~ A collection of Preludes and Fugues from J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. (Intermediate to advanced, pedal harp.)
~ Critical performance editions of Johann Sebastian Bach’s five Lute Suites. The Bach Lute Suites are available as separate editions, with critical notes, commentary and ornament suggestions particular to each work included. Please note the BWV number when ordering, and make sure to specify which transposition you would like with BWV 1006a (Db Major or Eb Major). Click on the buttom below for more information about these editions.
Transcriptions by Victoria Drake
~ J.S. Bach's complete Cello Suites in two volumes. (Intermediate to advanced, pedal harp.) A trailer about Tori's project can be heard on GHP's SoundCloud channel.
Transcriptions by Susan Jolles
~ Domenico Zipoli's Suite in B Minor. Intermediate to advanced, pedal harp.
~ Handel's Sonata in Bb Major. Intermediate, pedal harp.
~ Handel's Concerto in Bb Major, with an original cadenza. Intermediate to advanced, pedal harp.
~ Rameau's Pieces de clavecin (Pieces for harpsichord). Five gorgeous, fun to play pieces originally published in 1724 and 1731. Intermediate to advanced pedal harp.
~ Guistini’s Sonatas No. 5 & 7. Intermediate, pedal harp.
New Works for Solo Harp
~ Charles Norman Mason's four-movement work for solo harp and soundscapes, entitled "Coconut Grove Suite," features sonic scenes from the last "Old Florida" area in this Miami neighborhood. The movements explore Biscayne Bay, Plymouth Congregational Church, Secoffee (a street with peacocks and ancient live oak trees), and Cocowalk (a modern gathering spot in central Coconut Grove with food and shopping). Written between 2020-2023, commissioned by Laura Sherman, and funded with a grant from the American Harp Society.
~ Joel Mandelbaum’s two solos for pedal harp, Diatonic Study and Chromatic Study, 1990.
~ Reverie for solo harp, by the UK composer, Stephen Burtonwood. A beautiful, tonal work written in 2011. Intermediate pedal harp.
~ An original solo harp piece composed by Torrie Zito, entitled Concert Etude. Written in 1980 for Gloria Agostini, Concert Etude is perfect as a recital opener or encore. With subtle, jazz-influenced harmonies and classic harp arpeggiations, its effect is fresh and exciting. A recording of Gloria Agostini performing this gem is available on GHP's SoundCloud channel.
More about the critical performance editions of J.S. Bach’s five Lute Suites
Transcribed by Laura Sherman
These editions for harp are based on the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA) and the Neue Bach Ausgabe (NBA) Urtext editions, and have been transcribed and edited to reflect the superior scholarship of these two collections. (While the NBA largely supersedes the BGA, I often preferred the BGA's approach to stemming, finding that it more accurately reflects Bach's contrapuntal lines.)
The only significant change from the original sources is the transposition of BWV 1006a from E Major (which did not work well on the harp) to one version in Db Major and another in Eb Major. I prefer the open, sonorous quality of the Db Major version, but others may prefer the Eb Major version since it is closer to the original key of E Major.
Harp specific additions include all pedal changes, some fingerings, extensive muffling suggestions (for contrapuntal clarity), and ornament suggestions. An extensive bibliography is also included for more information.
Explore the Collection
J.S. Bach’s five Lute Suites, transcribed by Laura Sherman.
About Dr Sherman's Bach training
Dr. Laura Sherman studied with Bach scholar and performer Rosalyn Tureck while she was a visiting professor at Yale University and at her Tureck Bach Research Institute in Oxford, England. While there, Dr. Sherman also studied Baroque Performance Practice at Oxford University's Bodleian Library. This work became the basis for her doctoral dissertation at the University of Michigan, where she prepared these six editions and performed them in three dissertation recitals, coupled with significant 20th-century solo harp works. Subsequently, Dr. Sherman has continued researching Bach and Baroque performance practice issues, and has consulted with several additional scholars in the field.
Whether performing Bach's music on the harp or creating your own transcriptions of his music, it is important to have a basic understanding of such performance practice issues as ornaments, phrasing, contrapuntal clarity and tempi. Dr. Sherman’s "Bach Basics for Harp" is a summary of useful skills and resources that she collected while doing research for her own critical performance editions of Bach's "Lute Suites." She enjoys sharing this information while teaching privately, at Hunter College in Manhattan, and in master classes at colleges and universities around the country.