The Moving Cloud – Traditional Irish Reel – Harp Arrangement or Treble Lead Sheet

The Moving Cloud is a traditional Irish reel. This version is in G major, fingered for harp, and has chords for use as a lead sheet. This song is more modern than what I would usually call “traditional” music because this was composed in the 1900s! It is disputed whether this was composed by Sean Maguire or Neilidh Boyle. There are other versions of and discussions about this piece at The Session. attributes the song primarily to Neilidh Boyle and “a different third part possibly by Martin Mulhaire”. The point is, this is a “tune” under the sub-header “reel”.

I learned The Moving Cloud as part of “How to play triplets on the harp”. As usual, my harp teacher gave me the tune and told me to do whatever fingering I want in the right hand. Then, she gave me the chords and told me to do whatever I want in the left hand… which ended up being as I wrote it out. (She did show me the proper fingering for triplets, I would like to clarify.)

The rests do matter as written in measures 1-2 and 5-6. One should damp quickly with the left hand every time there are rests to stop the left hand strings from continuing to sound. The left hand is pretty simple here because I was focusing on the new concept with my right hand (and this is so fast!), but I do not know that adding a lot more on the left hand would be a good idea given the speed.

This was also the song where, as I played, my harp teacher told me I lacked that dance rhythm that should be there. She told me it was hard to explain and tried to demonstrate. To me, it sounded like she was just accentuating beats 2 and 3 of the first two measures.

Well, I hope everyone else can find enjoyment from this.

To download free sheet music for The Moving Cloud, a traditional reel, in G as a harp arrangement or as a treble lead sheet, please click here:

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