Butterfly Lovers Concerto by Ho Zhan Hao and Chen Kang – Arranged for 22-String Harp Tuned to E flat major

The sheet music offered here is for a harp arrangement of the beginning of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto, a rather well-known violin concerto by Ho Zhan Hao and Chen Kang. I arranged only the first section. The actual concerto is considerably longer. This arrangement can be played on a 22-string harp tuned to E flat major. (I had my trusty Stoney End Brittany back then. It is a rather attractive little lap harp that has decent sound— and it fits on airplane overhead compartments! Took it from the US to Japan and Taiwan one year!)

I arranged this version of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto when I discovered that I was expected to play at least some “Asian music” for a gig. Picked up some Momotaro-san and whatnot as well as a few classics like this one… but I had to score them out for myself first. The others are floating about in my Completed Scores\Arrangements folder.

The original tale for this concerto is a rather sad one. A girl dresses up as a boy to challenge stereotypes and be educated as proper boys ought to be. She meets her classmates and is educated, as expected— and she also falls in love with one of them, not as expected by our protagonist but as expected by the audience which has seen many cross-dressing women fall for their comrades. I think there is also a letter bit where she pretends to be her “brother’s” sister and exchanges letters with one of her “brother’s” classmate and gets him to fall in love with her. This being set in the time when marriage was a contract between two families rather than because two people are in love, she is eventually called home to be married. Upon getting home, she discovers that she is to be married to someone who is not the one she loves and she dies of sadness. The one she loved dies, too. Out of their graves, two butterflies fly out, dancing around each other.

Or something like that. I have not read the story in years.

Anyway, to download free sheet music for “Butterfly Lovers Concerto” for 22-string harp as a .pdf, please click here: Butterfly Lovers Concerto – Harp Arrangement – Full Score





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