Wednesday 25 August 2021


She’s leaving home: Sheila Bromberg The Beatles’ harpist has died

Sheila Bromberg has died, the London orchestral musician who play harp on ‘She’s Leaving Home’.
Sheila was 92.

After studies at the Royal College of Music, she played harp in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the London Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony and the BBC Concert Orchestra. 

Aside from the Beatles she recorded with The Beatles, The Bee Gees and Bing Crosby.

"She's Leaving Home" was recorded during the sessions for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The day before McCartney wanted to work on the song's score, he learned that George Martin, who usually handled the Beatles' string arrangements, was not available. 

Paul contacted Mike Leander, who did it in Martin's place. This was the first time a Beatles song was not arranged by Martin. Martin, though hurt by this, produced the song and conducted the string section in a session on 17 March 1967 that generated six takes. 

The melody is composed in a modal scale, typical of English traditional music. The harp was played by Sheila Bromberg, the first female musician to appear on a Beatles record. 

Three days later, McCartney's lead vocal and Lennon's backing vocal were recorded, with the two singing together on each of two vocal tracks, their voices overlapping to match the narrative. 

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