Rules Summary


These rules are effective beginning in January 2008.


1. Any current member of the Scottish Harp Society of America may enter the harp competitions. Competitors must use a non-pedal acoustic harp. Other instrumentalists or singers need not be SHSA members.

2. Competitors are responsible for obtaining and following the instructions in the complete Competitor’s Handbook.


1. YOUTH (17 and under)


C. SOLO HARP CATEGORIES AND REQUIREMENTS BY SKILL LEVEL Please refer to Competitor’s Handbook for styles of music and details.

1. BEGINNER: Play one (1) Scottish tune, either with or without music, so that the melody is recognizable.

2. NOVICE: Play two (2) Scottish tunes, either with or without music, from two different tune categories so that each melody is recognizable.

3. APPRENTICE: Play two (2) Scottish tunes: an air and a tune of contrasting style.

4. JOURNEYMAN: Play a 7-10 minute program of three Scottish selections in any order: a strathspey, an air, and a third contrasting tune.

5. MASTER: Play a 10-15 minute varied program of Scottish music which might range from an air to a march/strathspey/reel set (MSR) to a Theme and Variations (T&V).

D. SPECIAL CATEGORIES Please refer to Competitor’s Handbookfor styles of music and details. Each entry is limited to 6 minutes.

1.EARLY SCOTTISH MUSIC: Scottish music of early origins with a focus on historical performance practice.

2. HARP & VOCAL: Traditional Scottish singing, self-accompanied by harp. The song may be sung in English or Scots Gaelic.

3. HARP & SPOKEN WORD: Scottish poetry or story-telling self-accompanied by harp. Performance must be in English; dialect is allowed.

4. HARP IN ENSEMBLE: Instrumentation will feature at least one harp. Ensemble will perform a varied six minute program of scottish music.

5. EMERGING FORMS: harp soloist performing Scottish music in a style that is outside the traditional skills categories. Influences include, but are not limited to, jazz, new age, and fusion. Judging emphasis is on musicality, creativity and skill.

6. NON-GRADED: Solo harp or ensemble with harp, performing Scottish or other Celtic music in any style. Original compositions are welcome. For those who wish a Judge’s evaluation and scoring but no placings or awards.

E. STYLES OF MUSIC AND TUNE CATEGORIES: Please refer to the Competitor’s Handbook.