Welcome to the Learning Hub for Deborah Henson-Conant’s


for 100 Harps!

A Calypso Game for One to One Hundred Players
For Premiere at the 2024 Dutch Harp Festival April 20, 2024

Hello!  I can’t wait to play with you!   This piece of music is a GAME! I originally created it for my band, to play together with the AUDIENCE.  Once you learn it, you can play it with your audience and friends — or play it with ME at one of the festivals where we’ll be playing this LIVE in 2024!

Deborah Henson-Conant

The Game Board

Updated 4/8/23: Califypso_for_Utrecht_100Harps_Game_v3B_DHC.pdf

Video Play-Through

Below is a video playthrough of the music with a metronome so you can play along and get familiar with the sequence we usually play the sections in.  Please note that the page numbers you see in the video may change, and even some of the notes may change if we discover mistakes in the sheet music or develop the arrangement.  So don’t watch it for perfection – only for seeing how everything fits together, and to play along. 

You can speed up or slow down the video with the little gear in the bottom right of the video. (this video was added Apr. 8, 2024)

BELOW: Once you know the form, try playing along with this concert video with the Salzberg Philharmonie and the Salzberg HarpBreakers.  

To slow the video down click on the little gear icon.
Scroll down the page to see additional trainings on each section of the piece.

First, a Simplified Training

This is a simplified version of the music from a project called “The World Harp Ensemble” – and this video explains how to play it.  The sheet music below has ‘all’ the parts of the game – not just the melody and “Blowing” – but this video and sheet music are a great way to start playing with this piece.

NOTE: Musicians may have different names for the same thing.  What I call “Blowing Sections” in this video are called “Jam Sections” in the newer sheet music. Both are right – they’re just different ways of saying the same thing.

Download this simplified PDF by clicking the image at left or this link


How to Play the Melody

The Melody

You can play the melody many different ways: in one octave with just a few fingers, combining both hands to play a single line – or expand it to two octaves and play it with both hands. You can play the first two lines twice (so you don’t have to learn the 2nd two lines) – or play it straight through. You can play harmony with one hand and melody with the other. 

These videos show 3 of the ways you can play it. 

It doesn’t matter which way you play it, so long as you can play it confidently and rhythmically.  It’ll sound great if each person plays it the way that’s most fun and easy for YOU, choosing a level that’s easy enough for you that you can listen to others as you play.

What makes this piece fun is being able to listen to each other, play together and truly make a GAME of it.

Once you can do that, it’s an improv game you’ll be able to have fun with for the rest of your life, expanding or simplifying it as you want, teaching others to play it and inviting audiences to play along with you.

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Note that in the second part of the piece, I’m actually playing the two melody lines an octave apart, not where they’re written.  When we play this in ensemble, some will play the lower line and some will play the upper line. 

As soon as I get a chance, I’ll make more videos to show you how it works.  I can’t wait to play with you!!!

As soon as the click track starts syncing up with the music again, I’ll create the rest of the videos!

In the Meantime
Playalong Videos from “Harp Time Live”

These three videos are sessions in which I taught this song and we played it all together in “Harp Time Live” – an online harp playalong I host once a month.  Below each video are some notes to tell where in the video you might find some of the most important training sections.

Thu. June 17, 2021 – Harp Time Live

In this video I train the melody and the rhythm for the “blowing” or “jam” sections.  We also play the whole “form” of the piece and learn the strumming section.  The form is a little different than the game board we’ll be playing and this version of the piece

40:41 – I describe how the percussion section starts and ends

42:48 – I show you the strumming variation

50:41 – Playthrough of the form  (notice that I play the structure of the game a little bit different in this version)


Thu. Mar. 18, 2021 – Harp Time Live

In this video I train the melody and the rhythm for the “blowing” or “jam” sections, similar to how I taught in the other video.  I also teach the strumming variations.

43:34 – I teach the strumming variation

51:00 – Playthrough of just the melody and blowing section.  There’s no percussion solo in this version – I was just teaching people how to get the rhythm and have fun going back and forth between melody and ‘blowing’ (aka “jam”) sections.


Thu. June 11, 2020 – Harp Time Live

In this session, I teach the melody, as usual – but I also teach a different way you can approach the accompaniment fingering of the jam sections.  This way of playing chords is sometimes called “Smooth Move” chords because you make the least possible adjustment from one chord to another in order to change the harmony.  It’s a way of playing accompaniment that I also teach in “Sing & Play Harp” and sometimes I call it the ‘3-Chord Magic Method’.

1:37 – I teach the “Smooth Move” way of playing the 3 chords: C, F & G

7:10 – Rhythmicizing the accompaniment – here I talk about one way to create a rhythmic picking pattern to create the calypso feel in the blowing sections. 

10:56 – The Harmonic rhythm or chord structure of the blowing sections. Here I’m showing how you can internalize the chord pattern of the blowing section so it becomes like a natural dance. 

13:16 – I explain about the dominant and subdominant and how one is 5 strings aboe the tonic and the other is 5 strings below.

19:46 I play the strumming // 20:18 – I teach the strumming – how to place your fingers and how to create the strumming rhythm

31:46 – We learn the melody with a looper – so you can really see how “Harp 1” plays the same melody twice — and “Harp 2” plays the melody a 3rd up the 2nd time through — and this is how we create harmony!   In this video I put melody 1 into a looper and it repeated that melody as if it were Harp 1 – then I played the harp 2 part so you can hear how the harmony develops.

38:28 – Playthru of the melody and the blowing sections, basically just back and forth

42:02 – I explain the percussion section – different things you can play to sound like percussion

46:13 – We play the whole form, including the percussion section.

55:52 – I show a way to finger it, by integrating the hands and playing in only one octave, that may make it easier to get it ‘fast’ if you’re a less experienced player.


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