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Piccolo Valzer

Puccini’s Piccolo Valzer dates from 1894 and but was revisited by the composer becoming Musetta’s Waltz “Quando me n’vo” in Act II of the opera “La Boheme.” It is interesting to play this waltz melody as a piano piece and the music editor suggests a Moderato tempo rather than Lento. The composer was inspired to write the work after a boat trip fishing on the lake close to his home. The playing instruction con ondulazione is a reference to ripples on the water. Pianists need to avoid playing with too heavy a touch and the sustaining pedal needs to be used or else the playing may sound on the lumpy side. This is marked in the sheet music score and be ready for some rather quick pedalling changes. The realisation plays at 94 quarter note beats to the minute. There is opportunity for the music to ebb and flow in respect to the tempo and the tempo rubato is a reference to this type of playing. There is some wonderful harmonic writing in this ternary form ABA work but avoid any exaggerated playing and aim to communicate the simplicity and beauty of the melody.

Added:   12th July, 2019 15:07 PM   | Views  : 69    | Downloads  : 0    

Elite Syncopations

Elite Syncopations dates from 1902 and this is the original version of the solo piano work The remastered piano rolls featuring the playing of Scott Joplin are a good source for understanding how ragtime style should be played. The realisation plays back at a tempo of 74 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. The formal pattern of Joplin’s ragtime pieces generally have the structure of the typical American March which can be represented by letters as I AA BB AA CC DD. Remember that ragtime musical style embraces syncopation and that the music shouldn’t be played too quickly.

Added:   10th July, 2019 09:07 AM   | Views  : 56    | Downloads  : 0    

Elite Syncopations arr. Intermediate piano

Elite Syncopations dates from 1902 and this is an intermediate level arrangement that has quite detailed suggested fingering to encourage good playing technique. The remastered piano rolls featuring the playing of Scott Joplin are a good source for understanding how ragtime style should be played. The realisation plays back at a tempo of 74 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. The formal pattern of Joplin’s ragtime pieces generally have the structure of the typical American March which can be represented by letters as I AA BB AA CC DD. Remember that ragtime musical style embraces syncopation and that the music shouldn’t be played too quickly.

Added:   10th July, 2019 08:07 AM   | Views  : 72    | Downloads  : 0    

Sweet Dreams piano solo

This improver level ternary form (ABA) work is from Tchaikovsky’s Album for the Young, Opus 39. It is a melodic movement with a regular phrase requiring a singing legato tone when performed. There are editions where accent markings are placed very generously in the music scores although the music editor suggests that modern instruments with their stronger tone quality do not require such score markings. This is an excellent piece for developing musical memory as repetition is a strong element. The realisation plays back at a tempo of 84 quarter note or crotchet beats to the minute whilst a plain music score is appended to the edited music score. Some suggested pedalling has been indicated in the A section. The music editor suggests changing the sustaining pedal as the harmony changes and avoids its use in the B middle section. Using the thumb to play two notes and changing the finger on a note are two techniques that can be used when playing the movement. Whilst this is a fairly straightforward movement there is some subtle compositional detail relating to the chromatic lines.

Added:   18th June, 2019 21:06 PM   | Views  : 61    | Downloads  : 0    

Prelude in G BWV 902

This prelude possibly dates from 1730 and is composed in four voices or lines of music with some sections having all voices sounding, whilst in others three and sometimes only two. It opens with a section that is almost vocal in character before it transforms into a keyboard piece. There are no ornaments indicated in the score although there is an extraordinary amount of detail in the rhythmic figuration. The B section which begins at Bar 29 has some almost toccata like shapes whilst a four octave range is explored in the keyboard writing. The tempo of the realisation and playback is 72 quarter note beats to the minute and the repeats are not played. The repeat bar is indicated by a double bar at the end of bar 28 and there is also one at the end of the final bar in the sheet music score. One challenge for the performer is communicating the layers and lines that exist in the music with an awareness of an eighth note or quaver pulse. Another is to play the movement at a tempo that is appropriate and which can be maintained for the whole movement. Some of the figuration in the score can be a challenge to play if the tempo is too fast. The piece can be performed AB, AAB and even AABB the latter making it quite a long piece. The music editor when learning the movement started with the final section bars 41-56, before playing bars 29-56 and then the piece as a whole. The specified fingering is appropriate for someone who can manage a reach of a 9th with both hands. A plain score is also appended to the edited music score.

Added:   29th May, 2019 12:05 PM   | Views  : 126    | Downloads  : 0    

Keyboard Sonata in G Minor (C.61)

Domenico Cimarosa 1749-1801 was an Italian composer who whilst a widely travelled musician belongs to the Neapolitan (Naples) school and he is remembered particularly for his operas. His keyboard music is played on both the piano and the harpsichord and several pieces in more recent times have been transcribed for the classical guitar. The movement marked Adagio ma non troppo requires a legato touch while the realisation plays at a steady 42 quarter (crotchet) beats to the minute. The score has been prepared for performance on a piano and the ossia stave has an interpretation provided for the playing of the ornaments in bar 2 although there is option to modify these suggestions which possibly lack some rhythmic flexibility. The repeat of the ornaments in bar 15 should be played as in bar 2. Keyboard players need to have a keen awareness of the eighth note or quaver pulse when they are playing. The repetitive element in the music is strong whilst there is the opportunity to linger at the end of phrases but any exaggeration of the music whether in respect to rhythm, dynamic and melody needs to be avoided. The keyboard sonatas attributed to Cimarosa are short one movement works and any groupings of works in the same key found in recordings are editorial. They are works with appeal and consistent in their quality. The composer’s music is deserving of more attention and the keyboard sonatas are excellent performance pieces. A plain music score is appended to the edited music score.

Added:   20th April, 2019 05:04 AM   | Views  : 159    | Downloads  : 0    

Evening in Transylvania

This piece known as Evening in Transylvania and also Evening in the Village is from the composer’s piano collection Ten Easy Pieces. There are two original melodies one played slowly with rubato and the other played quickly and in strict time. Essentially whilst working in the folk music idiom Bartok remains loyal to the principle of contrast in music exploring two different ideas. Bartok is always very precise about the articulations that he requires in his music and players need to take notice of the dynamics which are notated in both clefs. The rhythmic purpose of his music is always very strong and whilst delivery of the melody needs to be quite fluid in the rubato section the music nevertheless needs to be delivered with a strong sense of pulse. From bar 42 the music texturally is notated and conceived in four parts. In the realisation the tempo is 76 quarter note (crotchet) beats in the lento rubato sections and 132 quarter note (crotchet beats) beats in the Vivo, non rubato sections. Some pedalling has been indicated in the score but the music editor suggests minimal use as modern instruments are tonally much stronger that those of the composers own time. Bartok considered the piano to be a percussion instrument and as a composer many of his folk music arrangements explore the modal element that is so characteristic of folk music and accompaniments make use of ostinatos. Much of his piano music was composed for teaching purposes and collections such as For Children and Mikrokosmos are well worth exploring. Bartok is one of the greatest 20th century composers and made a significant contribution to the repertoire. As a composer he worked on small canvasses as well as large ones and frequently ideas were transferred from the small to the large. This particular piece was transcribed by the composer into the first of his Hungarian Sketches for orchestra. He was Hungarian by birth and was important collector of folk music and one of the founders of the relatively new subject of ethnomusicology. He has something in common with Schubert in that both of them were very creative towards the end of their lives. Bartok left Europe in 1940 to settle in the U.S.A. but his health declined and he died from leukaemia in 1945 sadly before many of his concert hall works had become well known and recognised as great works.

Added:   25th March, 2019 11:03 AM   | Views  : 202    | Downloads  : 0    

Neapolitan Song Piano Solo

This charming and tuneful piece is from Tchaikovsky’s Children’s Album Opus 39 which dates from 1878. The first section is played at a tempo of 100 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute and the faster section at 120 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. The melodic line needs to clearly articulated and the accompaniment played with a lightness and bounce. The melody also features in Act 3 of the composer’s ballet Swan Lake.

Added:   18th March, 2019 13:03 PM   | Views  : 180    | Downloads  : 0    

Sonata in D for Keyboard/Piano

The Sonata in D by Mateo Albéniz is a binary form (AB) work that is essentially in 6/8 but explores the characteristic 3/4 v 6/8 rhythmic shapes of Spanish music. Often these are explored in adjoining bars and sometimes even in the same bar. It is music of joy and energy more baroque than classical as one would expect from a composer working at a distance from the main centres of European music. As a piano piece it does have something of the lightness of a Mozart movement but coloured with reference to the phyrgian mode that help give the music its Spanish character. The music editor prefers a consistent approach to the playing of the ornaments which have been written out in full in the score and a lightness of touch is essential if rhythmic accuracy is to be communicated. The realisation plays at a tempo of 124 dotted quarter (crotchet) notes to the minute and the repeats are played. Some score detail in respect to phrasing has been indicated in the edited music score whilst a plain score is also attached enabling to add score details as they wish. There are one or two alternative options indicated by the ossia staves and they are in place essentially to draw awareness to inconsistencies that exist in the score. In addition, the music editor could suggest that bars 9 and 13 be mirrored in the closing section at bar 85 and 90 although pianists play the music as notated in the score. Sometimes the left hand is required to play notes that have been notated in the treble clef. Keyboard players who do their listening research will discover that there are options as far as adding additional ornaments in their performances which is perfectly permissible in the repeat sections. Again as in most music of this time it is difficult to find two performers approaching the playing of ornaments in the same way. There are versions of this music for classical guitar and also harp.

Added:   3rd March, 2019 18:03 PM   | Views  : 221    | Downloads  : 0    

Keyboard Sonata in A Minor (C.55)

Domenico Cimarosa 1749-1801 was an Italian composer who whilst a widely travelled musician belongs to the Neapolitan (Naples) school and he is remembered particularly for his operas. His keyboard music was played on both the piano and the harpsichord and several pieces have been transcribed for the classical guitar. This short movement requires a legato touch and the realisation plays at 42 dotted quarter (crotchet) beats to the minute. The ornaments are played quickly and start on the beat and whilst not indicated in the score some limited use of the sustaining pedal is suggested. From the performance point of view the rhythmic shape of the left hand part needs to be constant. The Siciliana rhythmic shape is best described as a slow lilting pattern in 6/8 or 12/8 time and has proved a popular template since baroque times. It can described as a slow jig. Cimarosa’s keyboard music is well worth investigating although his work still needs to be authenticated. The keyboard sonatas attributed to Cimarosa are short one movement works and any groupings of works in the same key found in recordings are editorial. They are works with appeal and consistent in their quality. There is some suggested fingering on the edited music score whilst a plain score is also appended.

Added:   10th February, 2019 16:02 PM   | Views  : 189    | Downloads  : 0    

Sururú na Cidade arr. solo piano

Zequinha Abreu was a Brazilian musician and composer and Sururú na Cidade translates as Sururú in the City. The rondo form of Sururú na Cidade can be summarised as Intro A B B A C C A. The realisation plays back at a tempo of 92 quarter note beats to the minute and the repeats are played. The music of Brazil is a fascinating mix of European and African cultures with the Choro or Lament instrumental style having its origins in C19th Rio de Janeiro (Chôrinho = Little Lament). Whilst the inference of the title suggests a style that is sad, pieces can often have a fast and happy rhythms with syncopation, modulations and counterpoint. There are also particularly instruments associated with the performance of this music namely the flute, guitar and a small type of guitar originally from Portugal with 4 strings known as the cavaquino which may play either a melody or a chord rhythm. From the sheet music point of view this is a very concisely notated piece. Some performers play the repeat of the C section at the octave as indicated in the score but this is optional.

Added:   4th February, 2019 15:02 PM   | Views  : 203    | Downloads  : 0    

No Bailes Más! (Dance No More)

Ignacio Cervantes was a Cuban composer born in the capital city of Havana in 1847. He had piano lessons with Louis Moreau Gottschalk before travelling to Paris to further his music studies with Charles Valentin Alkan amongst others. This piece originates as a piano solo in the key of Eb whilst the realisation plays at a tempo of 88 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. Many performers play through the piece twice although no repeat signs are indicated in the score. Much of Cervantes piano music is well suited to being played by a variety of instrument combinations as they are well crafted and have great musical appeal. The habanera rhythmic shape features strongly. A piano version in the key of F is is appended to the Eb score to encourage playing in a range of keys.

Added:   27th January, 2019 15:01 PM   | Views  : 197    | Downloads  : 0    

Scherzino Mexicano

One of the jewels of music originating as a guitar solo and composed in 1909 by the Mexican composer Manuel Ponce. This is simply beautiful music exploring the three in a bar, two in a bar rhythmic pattern so characteristicic of Spanish and South American music. Whilst the melody is predominantly diatonic the harmony is chromatic particularly at the start of the second section. The melodic line does need to predominate particularly in the chromatic section from bar 10. There are some ambiguities in the score in respect to tied notes although the music editor has been guided by the guitar copy of the score. The tempo of the realisation is 110 dotted quarter notes (crotchet) beats to the minute whilst there is opportunity for the tempo to ebb and flow as if the performance is being sung.

Added:   18th January, 2019 16:01 PM   | Views  : 234    | Downloads  : 0    

Off To California arr. piano solo in G (Two Part + Letter Names)

The hornpipe is found in the folk music of England, Scotland and Ireland and has a traditional association with sailors in that dancing was used on long sea journeys to keep them fit. Hornpipes are usually associated with other hornpipes in a performance context in what is described as a dance set. Most folk music is played from memory and both memory and ensemble playing should be encouraged. The realisation of this two part version with letter names in the note heads plays at 132 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute and the hornpipe is in AB (Binary) form. The music needs to be played with a triplet feel as demonstrated in the realisation. The repeats are not played in the realisation and there is no ornamentation of the melodic line in this version which has vamped chords to accompany the melody. Folk music scores are generally presented with minimal score detail although this score has both letter names of the notes in the notepad and suggested finger to encourage the beginner player to make rapid progress. Understand that the playing of ornaments whilst relevant in repetitive music of this kind requires a special study and is governed by the instrument being played, the music tradition being represented and sometimes geography/locality. A study of ornamentation in folk music the music editor suggests is not for the faint hearted! There are also examples of hornpipes in baroque music including Handel’s Water Music.

Added:   17th December, 2018 10:12 AM   | Views  : 341    | Downloads  : 0    

Off To California arr. piano solo in G (Vamped Chords)

The hornpipe is found in the folk music of England, Scotland and Ireland and has a traditional association with sailors in that dancing was used on long sea journeys to keep them fit. Hornpipes are usually associated with other hornpipes in a performance context in what is described as a dance set. Most folk music is played from memory and both memory and ensemble playing should be encouraged. The realisation of this version with vamped chords as the accompaniment plays at 132 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute and the hornpipe is in AB (Binary) form. The music needs to be played with a triplet feel as demonstrated in the realisation. The repeats are not played in the realisation and there is no ornamentation of the melodic line in this version which has vamped chords to accompany the melody. Folk music scores are generally presented with minimal score detail although there is some suggested fingering for the player. Understand that the playing of ornaments whilst relevant in repetitive music of this kind requires a special study and is governed by the instrument being played, the music tradition being represented and sometimes geography/locality. A study of ornamentation in folk music the music editor suggests is not for the faint-hearted! There are also examples of hornpipes in baroque music including Handel’s Water Music.

Added:   17th December, 2018 09:12 AM   | Views  : 340    | Downloads  : 0    

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot arr. piano solo in G

This is a very popular piece of music that in many respects transcends idiom, style & it could be suggested culture. This improver level arrangement solo piano in G is in common time although some of the accompanying chords and rhythmic shapes have been updated to give a more contemporary style. This familiar spiritual gained popularity during the 1960’s with the Civil Rights movement and since 1988 it has become associated with the English rugby team. This arrangement explores a gentle rock style whilst the realisation plays back at a tempo of 100 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the bar.

Added:   5th December, 2018 21:12 PM   | Views  : 301    | Downloads  : 0    

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot arr. piano solo in F

This is a very popular piece of music that in many respects transcends idiom, style & it could be suggested culture. This improver level arrangement for solo piano or keyboard in F is in common time although some of the accompanying chords and rhythmic shapes have been updated to give a more contemporary style. This familiar spiritual gained popularity during the 1960’s with the Civil Rights movement and since 1988 it has become associated with the English rugby team. This arrangement explores a gentle rock style whilst the realisation plays back at a tempo of 100 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the bar.

Added:   5th December, 2018 21:12 PM   | Views  : 295    | Downloads  : 0    

Skye Boat Song arr. solo piano

This familiar Scottish folk song begins and ends with a chorus (chorus-verse-chorus) and whilst the song’s text describes the escape of Bonnie Prince Charles it is often sung as a lullaby. This improver level arrangement is in 6/8 time and is suited to being played by a number of instrument combinations This arrangement keeps the melody as it usually sung but some of the accompanying chords have been updated to give a more contemporary feel. There is no introduction in order to keep the phrase structure balanced.

Added:   6th November, 2018 15:11 PM   | Views  : 336    | Downloads  : 0    

Pavane arr. Intermediate Level Piano

This is an intermediate level piano arrangement based on the piano and SATB vocal arrangement by the composer. The layout is intended to clarify the voicing of the music. The elements of the piece are a distinctive melody, combined with an accompaniment that is for much of the time figurative in character, the occasional countermelody and bass line. Fauré composed music that references both modal and harmonic scales and this explains the feature known as “false relation” (conflicting accidentals in different voices) which appear in bar 22 and 23 and several other bars. It is music that needs to be played with clarity and dignity and not too quickly. The realisation plays back at 80 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. If the movement is played too quickly it loses its poise and gracefulness. The music exists in many different arrangements but is probably most familiar in its orchestral version although it started off life as a piano piece in the 1880’s. The trill in the realisation begins on the E# beginning and ending with sixteenth notes as shown in the video score on YouTube although trills are open to being interpreted in different ways. One of the playing challenges is that the same note can be sounded in a different part. The pavane has its origins as a slow processional dance popular in the renaissance period but has since been given a new lease of life by composers including Fauré and Ravel. The music editor suggests limited use of use of the sustaining pedal particularly when the bass notes have a quarter note (crotchet) value. This is an excellent piece for exploring the tonal range of the piano but avoid playing the quieter sections too loudly. Playing the first section from bar 1 – 42 ending on the chord at the beginning of bar 42 works well as a “short version” of the movement.

Added:   2nd November, 2018 13:11 PM   | Views  : 302    | Downloads  : 0    

Le Banjo (Full version in F) for solo piano

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was an American composer and pianist who worked mainly outside the U.S.A. Born in New Orleans he travelled to Europe at the age of 13 to study music. Much of the early music he composed was based on music he remembered from his childhood in Louisiana where he was exposed to a variety of musical traditions. From the 1860’s he was regarded as the best known pianist from the New World and his talent was recognised by both Chopin and Liszt. A tempo of 100 quarter note beats to the minutes is used in the realisation of “Le Banjo” which dates from 1853 whilst the piece needs to be played with a very even tempo with the piano being played quite percussively. The tied notes need to be carefully identified in both the melody and bass line where the acciaccaturas (crushed notes) are used to recreate the “hammer on” technique used by players of fretted instruments. The term Ardito means bold whilst Ben misurato indicates that the music needs to be played in a strict tempo and the term martelltato is an indication that the notes are to be strongly accented. Whilst this is a cut down and simplified version of the work the original in the key of F sharp major is often played by piano virtuosi as an encore. The sustaining pedal hasn’t been indicated in the score but limited use may be considered. In this arrangement for clarinet in B flat and piano the playing context is for the music to be presented as a concert item for intermediate level players. Stephen Foster’s Camptown Races is referenced both at the beginning and the end of the arrangement whilst the trills in bar 81 and bar 149 start on the note. There is a further challenge in that a concert version of the piece can be readily sourced for those who like a real challenge.

Added:   12th October, 2018 14:10 PM   | Views  : 297    | Downloads  : 0    

Variations on the Song “I slept, I dreamed”

A theme and 10 variations selected from the set of twenty four published 1770. The writing suggests the music was intended for both the harpsichord and fortepiano. The editor has selected variations particularly appropriate to the development of piano technique and has avoided including variations which are more baroque in character and suited to being played on the harpsichord. The musical content is both charming and appealing, well suited to developing technical skills and musical memory. The tempo of the theme is played at 76 quarter notes to the minute and generally, the tempo of the variations remains the same with the minor variation possibly played a little slower. The ornamentation is straight forward and the sheet music score has ossia staves with some of the ornaments written out in full. No pedal markings have been notated in the score although some use of the sustaining pedal may be used. This is excellent music for developing keyboard technique and the music editor is surprised that the movement is not more widely known. The German title for this music is Variationen über das lied "ich schlief, da träumte mir”.

Added:   12th October, 2018 11:10 AM   | Views  : 385    | Downloads  : 0    

C. P. E. Bach First Movement from Keyboard Sonata in F minor W.57/6 H.173

This music was composed in 1763 and anticipates particularly thematically and rhythmically musical directions later explored by Beethoven and others. Pianists need to approach playing this movement with clarity in their rhythmic intention and demonstrate an understanding of the context of the triplet figuration that dominates the movement. Whilst the realisation indicates the music editor’s intention as to how the music should be approached the piano touch could be on the lighter side and there could be a little more “ebb and flow” tempo wise in the cadenza like sections (bars 22-23, bars 55-56 & bars 78-79) and at cadences. Although the music texturally isn’t complicated, the piece is quite demanding to play in that a consistency of touch and articulation is required. The instrument needs to be played with a lightness of touch with the player intent upon communicating the beauty of the music. Understandably there is no evidence of performance practice from C.P.E Bach’s own time and the music editor suggests that it is quite possibly that approaches to playing of music from this period have changed over time. A tempo of 120 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the realisation. The music copy has been prepared with the modern piano intended as the performance instrument. Limited use of the sustaining pedal can be considered and ornaments need to be played with a similar rhythmic clarity and an understanding of context. Not many people play C.P.E.Bach’s music which is a shame because he composed works of quality and he has an important position in music history linking the Baroque with the Classical era. Both Haydn and Beethoven were influenced by his compositional approach. The music editor also suggests listening to the available recordings of the work played on a variety of different keyboard instruments. Interestingly there are many different approaches to playing this piece particularly with respect to tempo and rhythmic interpretation. Some performers approach the piece as if it is a piece of classical music even suggesting tempos and a playing approach in the style and manner of playing a Beethoven piano sonata. Recordings also have different acoustic properties although many in the music editor’s opinion are much too reverberant and consequently “rather cloudy”. The challenge is to play the piece with the intention of revealing its beauty, its texture, it’s rhythmic intention and the composer’s individual style whilst acknowledging its historical context. Whilst the music, texturally, belongs to the baroque both thematically and rhythmically the musical content looks forward and anticipates much of the keyboard music style of Haydn and Beethoven. This is an ideal challenge for some test piece at a competition or music festival because it invites so many different approaches. There is a commentary on how to play the ornaments in the score.

Added:   11th October, 2018 13:10 PM   | Views  : 322    | Downloads  : 0    

Little Prelude in D BWV936

An excellent piano piece for developing legato playing and an awareness of playing music conceived in lines that should be manageable by someone in their second year of playing the instrument. The video score on our YouTube plays back at a tempo of 84 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute. Many pianists articulate the bass line with a staccato touch and the music editor suggests listening to a number of recordings available. Changing the finger playing a note and sliding fingers from one note to another are piano techniques that can be practiced in this movement. It belongs to a group of 6 preludes dating from 1717 – 1720 originally intended to be played on the harpsichord.

Added:   8th October, 2018 17:10 PM   | Views  : 357    | Downloads  : 0    

Czardas arr. solo piano

A very exciting and dramatic piece of music for audience and performers alike. Technically proficient players play the faster sections more quickly and the slower sections more slowly than in the realisation often with great rhythmic expression. Vittorio Monti was a musician and composer from Naples although this piece is often described as having its origins as Hungarian folk music. The piece has a sectional structure and repetition is a strong element although the repeats are not played in the realisation. Tempo considerations are quite important and the Allegro vivace sections initially played at 120 quarter notes to the minute. A piacere means at “one’s pleasure, at one’s will,” whilst stentato is a musical expression meaning “laboured, heavy in a dragging manner” and stringendo means progressively quickening in tempo. Rallentandos shouldn’t begin too soon at the ends of phrases. The realisation is rather tame compared to many of the performances available but it is clearly a piece where players can learn much about performing music to an audience and Czardas often features as an encore piece in concerts. The small ornamental notes are probably best omitted in the early stages of learning the piece. The music editor has indicated all tempo text in bold above the staves. There is actually no definitive arrangement of this piece and the sections between bar 70 to 85 can be omitted in performance. Performers may wish to also omit the rallentando indicated in the score at bar 98. Some music performances also have the music starting slowly at bar 86 to soon quicken to an Allegro vivace tempo. The simple advice is to make your performance your own!

Added:   3rd October, 2018 12:10 PM   | Views  : 323    | Downloads  : 0    

Le Banjo arr. intermediate piano

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was an American composer and pianist who worked mainly outside the U.S.A. Born in New Orleans he travelled to Europe at the age of 13 to study music. Much of the early music he composed was based on music he remembered from his childhood in Louisiana where he was exposed to a variety of musical traditions. From the 1860’s he was regarded as the best known pianist from the New World and his talent was recognised by both Chopin and Liszt. A tempo of 100 quarter note beats to the minute is used in the realisation of this intermediate level arrangement of “Le Banjo” which dates from 1853. Whilst the piece needs to be played with a very even tempo with the piano being played quite percussively. The tied notes need to be carefully identified in both the melody and bass line where the acciaccaturas (crushed notes) are used to recreate the “hammer on” technique used by players of fretted instruments. The term Ardito means bold whilst Ben misurato indicates that the music needs to be played in a strict tempo and the term martelltato is an indication that the notes are to be strongly accented. Whilst this is a cut down and simplified version of the work the original in the key of F sharp major is often played by piano virtuosi as an encore. The sustaining pedal hasn’t been indicated in the score but limited use may be considered. The arrangement has been made with the intention of presenting the music as a concert piece for the intermediate player.

Added:   22nd September, 2018 07:09 AM   | Views  : 372    | Downloads  : 0    

Third Movement: Allegro assai from Sonata in A minor

This movement is the third and last movement of a sonata published as part of a collection of harpsichord sonatas in 1742. Whilst there is evidence in the score of its harpsichord origins it is nevertheless a piece very suited to being performed on a modern piano. The counterpoint or combination of lines of music lines is a particularly strong element in the composition. A tempo of 132 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the realisation although a target of 120 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is probably a fair target in the first instance. Contemporary performances of the piece generally have the first section repeated and the second section played without a repeat. There is quite an amount of dramatic tension in the music arising from the detached notes and the concise two bar phrasing suggesting at times an almost hushed urgency. The ornaments include trills which start on the note, crushed notes or acciaccaturas and the odd appoggiatura which have sometimes been written out as in bar 7. The ornaments in the section from bar 86 to 91 are best played as crushed notes giving the music a more classical spirit to it although in some scores they are notated as appoggiaturas. The music editor always references contemporary performance practice when preparing scores and favours crushed notes in this instance. As usual the music editor has been very consistent in his approach to ornamentation and advises players to keep matters as simple and straightforward as possible. Keep the trills metrical and the editor suggests that it is best to avoid a triplet ending to the trills although they are inclined to sneak in to ones playing almost unnoticed. Spread chords are a feature and some work is required to sort out the sharing of the work load between the two hands. This is an excellent example of music that is for want of a better description is pre-classical composed in the period between the baroque and classical era. C. P. E. Bach’s music is deserving of being played and listened to more regularly in what is one of the most interesting and fascinating times in music history. The music editor is keen to hear that this piece is being played and would value receiving feedback. Whilst a sheet music score has been prepared as if the piece is a classical work there is a plain score appended to the edited music score.

Added:   20th May, 2018 15:05 PM   | Views  : 395    | Downloads  : 0    

Fugue in C major

A fugue is not strictly a musical form but more a compositional style in which the process of imitation dominates in voices or lines of music described as counterpoint. Understand that the musical conception is in lines. The realisation plays back at 100 dotted quarter notes to the minute. The music editor suggests that if you have the technique and composure try to get to 110 dotted quarter notes to the minute as the music then really does seem to come alive. The dynamic range of this work is very much determined by the texture which varies from a single voice to four voices in varying combinations. In music of this time the score detail tends to be quite minimal and this score keeps to that practice. Buxtehude’s position in music history has resulted in him being overshadowed by J. S. Bach but Buxtehude composed many fine keyboard works that transcribe well to the piano. This is an uplifting piece to both listen to and play having the rhythmic template of a jig and a “modern” sound attributable to the tonal ambiguities that result from the conflicting accidentals often in different lines of the music. For those interested in finding out more about this look up the term “false relation.” The subject entries need to be clearly articulated and a sense of forward movement needs to be communicated at all times by the piano/keyboard player. In terms of the music setting there are some indications in the score as to which hand plays which line of the music and the player needs to have a clear understanding of the division of labour between the two hands. Ornaments do not feature in the score but can be added at the performers discretion once a clear understanding of the options have been appreciated from listening and analysing recordings and performances.

Added:   14th May, 2018 12:05 PM   | Views  : 469    | Downloads  : 0    

Rondo in D minor Wq.61/4

A dramatic and spirited movement which whilst very different texturally to Beethoven’s music harmonically it does point in his direction. In character the music is almost a conversational piece although formally it can be described as a rondo which is a piece with a recurring theme. The phrase structure is not particularly regular and there are several changes of mood in the various section although the main thematic motive is always clearly recognisable. The sheet music score has been prepared for the performance on the piano and only limited use of the sustaining pedal is suggested. For clarity the music editor suggests essentially the one ornament shape when performing the work which reflects current practice in the interpretation of music of this period. Too many different ornaments can be distracting both to the performer and listener alike. The opening ornaments are notated on ossia staves and the player should continue with the same shapes through the movement. The slight slowing down appropriate at the ends of the phrases are not marked in the score. There are recordings available of this work played on the modern piano, fortepiano and the harpsichord. C.P.E Bach was a prolific composer and an important transition figure in music history linking the baroque with the classical age in music history. He was very aware of contemporary practice and contributed much to developing style and form although at the same time he was able to remain surprisingly free spirited. C.P. Bach’s music is worthy of attention and for piano players there is a wealth of excellent music for the developing pianist. This work composed in 1786 and published in 1787 comes from period near the end of his life.

Added:   14th May, 2018 11:05 AM   | Views  : 413    | Downloads  : 0    

Allegretto con variazioni “Ah, vous dirai-je, maman”

J.C.F.Bach was the fourth and youngest composing son of J.S.Bach. Many songs in different languages have been based on this familiar French song known as "Ah! vous dirai-je, maman" including "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep." These set of variations provide an excellent summary of keyboard technique available and used during the late baroque/ early classical period. The score has been prepared for performance on a modern piano. The pianist may want to add some sustaining pedal particularly in Variations 4, 8, 9 and 10 although pedal markings are not indicated in the score. The changing meters does add a complication as to how the bars of music are counted. Understand that each variation has its own tempo. When playing variations don’t think that all variations need to be played at the same tempo. The ornament used in this set of variations is an upper mordent comprising the note, the note above and then the note itself again. Most of the musical content is classical in spirit and the phrase structure is understandably symmetrical which makes it a good piece to memorise. The score also has some suggested fingering. The music editor suggests that when performing the variations it would good idea to choose a selection of the variations to play. Suggested performances patterns could be: Option 1 Theme + Var. 1 + Var. 2 + Var. 3 + Var. 4 + Var. 5 + Var. 9 and for Option 2 Theme + Var. 7 + Var. 8 + Var. 9 + Var. 10 + Var. 11 + Var. 12.

Added:   23rd April, 2018 08:04 AM   | Views  : 464    | Downloads  : 0    

Third Movement:Finale (Piano Sonata No.50 Hob.XVI/37)

This movement is in rondo form which can be represented formally by the letters ABACA - a rondo is a piece with a recurring theme having its origins as a dance.Changing the finger on a repeating note is a piano technique that can be usefully explored in this movement if only to give to a lightness to the touch which is required if the movement is to be played at tempo. In fast playing the dynamics also need to be controlled and I would avoid playing the movement too loudly. A performance tempo of 100 quarter note beats to the minute is a good first target. The realisation playback tempo is 144 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute with the repeats for a change played in the realisation. Ornaments and appoggiaturas are written out in the edited music score with trills beginning on the note. Understand that there are several options and solutions available as far as "suggested" fingering is concerned but it is a work in which legato, staccato and staccatissimo touches can be explored. In the repeats gifted and sensitive interpreters of Haydn's music add additional ornaments and figurations whilst possibly varying the dynamic and tempo but all keeping to the musical style. This is an excellent piece for developing musical memory and when possible players should try and put the sheet music aside. The movement composed in the late 1770's has more than a suggestion of the spirit of the composer and his evident humour. A plain score is also appended to the edited sheet music score allowing the player some flexibility in their approach.

Added:   19th February, 2018 15:02 PM   | Views  : 353    | Downloads  : 0    

Adagio from Keyboard Sonata in D

This is a piece possessing great melodic beauty and players should understand that the melody is the main musical focus in a performance. This is an Adagio movement and pianists/keyboard players should avoid playing the movement too quickly. Sadly, much of this composer's music was lost when Napoleon invaded Venice in 1796 and for the music editor this composer has been a recent discovery. The trills begin on the note whilst the spread chord does not sound as a spread chord in the in the realisation. There are some rhythmic options when playing the melody given in ossia staves. Keyboard players have wish to add additional ornaments but do ensure that these do not detract from the beauty of the melody.

Added:   29th January, 2018 13:01 PM   | Views  : 410    | Downloads  : 0    

Scherzando from Piano Sonata No.49

The tempo indication Allegro con brio is possibly a bit on the strong side for this movement which has character and charm rather than vigour. Scherzando is a direction to play in a playful manner whilst the realisation playback tempo is 110 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute with the repeats not played. The realisation is functional but understandably does lack the subtlety that is communicated in a performance. Ornaments and appoggiaturas are written out in the edited music score with trills beginning on the note and having a 5 note shape reflecting current performance practice. Composed in the late 1770's the work that reminds us that Haydn's did possess a sense of humour which is often evident on his music. Understand that there are several options available as far as "suggested" fingering is concerned but it is a work in which legato, staccato and staccatissimo touches can be explored in performance. The thumb is generally avoided on the black notes and there is an opportunity to explore changing the finger on a repeating note. A source score is appended to the sheet music score allowing the player some flexibility in their approach. In the repeats gifted and sensitive interpreters of Haydn's music add additional ornaments and figurations whilst possibly varying the dynamic and tempo but all keeping with the musical style.

Added:   29th January, 2018 13:01 PM   | Views  : 392    | Downloads  : 0    

First Movement from Sonata in A

Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782) is often referred to as the "London Bach" and important because he influenced Mozart's concerto style and is identified with the musical style known as "style galant." His keyboard music was generally performed on the fortepiano and there are recordings available of this sonata played on the harpsichord, clavichord, fortepiano and modern piano. The music copy is prepared the sonata to be played on a modern piano although the music editor does suggest listening to recordings of performances on other keyboard instruments. of the sustaining pedal can be considered particularly in the chordal sections although this has not been indicated in the score. This is one of a number of excellent and appealing pieces for the intermediate level pianist/keyboard player ensuring that a basic skill set is in place for the developing player. A tempo from 100 to 110 quarter note beats to the minute is suggested and 110 quarter note beats to the minute has been used in the realisation with the repeats not being played. Ornaments need to be played rhythmically and consistently although the music editor suggests leaving them out in the early stages of learning the piece. Trills do vary in length according to their context. The right and left hand parts are not always rhythmically independent - in passages where there are triplets the trills need to be adjusted so that there is a some sharing of the overall dominating rhythmic pattern. The score detail in respect to this is clearly indicated.

Added:   29th January, 2018 12:01 PM   | Views  : 417    | Downloads  : 0    

Allegro in A

This work provides something of a puzzle because whilst it is attributed to W.F.Bach more than likely it was composed by someone else. Understand that the Bach family and their many pupils copied and shared much music and compositions were frequently credited to the wrong person. The realisation is played without repeats and the bar 33-36 link or transition does not always appear in all printed copies. It is a short piece that has unity, concise musical ideas and appeal both for the player and the listener. Score detail is in place for performance on a piano. A plain copy of the score is also appended to the edited music score.

Added:   29th January, 2018 12:01 PM   | Views  : 475    | Downloads  : 0    

Solfeggio in C minor

This piece has a misleading title because really it would be better described as a toccata. Keyboard players in the past particularly of small instruments like the clavichord were required to tune their instruments before playing them simply because instruments very quickly went out of tune. This is the origin of these "touch" or "tuning" pieces and C.P.E.Bach's Solfeggieto was composed very much in this style. Many of these touch pieces became in the hands of J.S.Bach and others very sophisticated compositions which were written down and described as toccatas. This is C.P.E. Bach's most familiar work and is an excellent piece for encouraging a light touch and dexterity in the fingers. There is a plain score appended to the edited score which the player can use if preferred.

Added:   29th January, 2018 11:01 AM   | Views  : 312    | Downloads  : 0    

First Movement from Keyboard Sonata in C (Illy No. 27)

Galuppi was an Italian composer very much associated with the city of Venice and in his life time was known particularly for his comic operas. He was a fine keyboard player and as a composer is associated with the “style galant” movement which was an important artistic movement in the 19th century. As a result of Napoleon’s invasion of Venice in 1797 many of the composer’s manuscripts were lost. This piece that has charm and beauty reminiscent of a slow movement from a Mozart keyboard sonata. The ornaments comprise acciaccaturas (crushed notes) appoggiaturas (leaning notes) mordents and trills. The mordent is a simple note, note above, repeat of note device whilst the trills beginning on the note are longer and need to played so that the symmetry and shape of the music is maintained. There are some trills that start on the note above but these are indicated in the score. Understand that no two performers play the ornaments in the same way. A further complication is the same ornament may actually be played differently in a performance or recording and on the playing of the repeat sections additional ornaments can be added at the player’s discretion. The best advice is that if some of the ornaments are difficult to deliver leave them out but be consistent in your approach. The sheet music download comprises both a performance score and an appended realisation/recording score so as to enable players to understand how the ornaments are played. In time, when players have an understanding of the style of this music they may well want to revise and even expand on how the ornaments are played. The piano melody does have score detail relating to articulation. The tempo of the realisation is 50 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute and whilst the repeats are indicated in the scores they are not played in the recording. Pianists may wish to make use of the sustaining pedal although this also has not been indicated in the scores.

Added:   18th December, 2017 09:12 AM   | Views  : 456    | Downloads  : 0    

October (Autumn Song)

October (Autumn Song) is a composition that dates from 1876 and is in ternary form (ABA) work being part of a collection of 12 pieces by the composer known as “The Seasons.” This piece requires sensitive but at the same quite controlled playing – exaggerated dynamics and articulations need to be avoided. Many older scores of this work are filled with articulation markings that possibly don’t have the same relevance with modern instruments especially the modern piano. It is quiet melancholy composition of great beauty with some sharing of melodic material between the voices which makes it an excellent ensemble piece and pianists should explore the ensemble options when opportunities arise. Some performers particularly in the triplet passage work at the end of the sections interpret the ties rather liberally. Understand that realisation whilst quite satisfactory does not demonstrate the range of tempo variation needed for a truly convincing performance. Rubato is very applicable when performing this music. The pause mark is also not well represented in the recording as it really needs to be much longer. The small notes do not sound in the playback the realisation. The editor suggests listening to many of the excellent performances of this work. This version has detailed fingering in place. There are no pedal markings on the score but use of the sustaining pedal is recommended and in the edited music score fingering is placed above and below the two staves. Changing the finger on a note is a very useful technique to employ to sustain the legato when performing this music.

Added:   15th December, 2017 18:12 PM   | Views  : 354    | Downloads  : 0    

Serenade (Petite Suite) Original

Borodin was clearly quite an exceptional person known as a doctor and chemist as well as being a member of the Russian group of composers known and popularized as the “Mighty Handful.” His interest in music was essentially as a hobby but he was very well connected in Russian musical circles and his “Serenade” from the “Petite Suite” was published in 1896. The ostinato pattern that features in the work is an excellent unifying element in the composition and the strong melodic element in this miniature explores quite a melodic range. A tempo of 60 dotted quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the realization. The music editor suggests use of the piano sustaining pedal although this has not been marked in the score. Pianists and keyboard players will need to spend time analysing the musical texture to understand which notes belong to which musical line of which there are three - melody, harmony and an ostinato accompaniment. This is the original version of the work in the original key of B flat minor.

Added:   13th December, 2017 21:12 PM   | Views  : 256    | Downloads  : 0    

Serenade (Petite Suite) arr. intermediate piano

Borodin was clearly quite an exceptional person known as a doctor and chemist as well as being a member of the Russian group of composers known and popularized as the “Mighty Handful.” His interest in music was essentially as a hobby but he was very well connected in Russian musical circles and his “Serenade” from the “Petite Suite” was published in 1896. The ostinato pattern that features in the work is an excellent unifying element in the composition and the strong melodic element in this miniature explores quite a melodic range. A tempo of 60 dotted quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the realization. The music editor suggests use of the piano sustaining pedal although this has not been marked in the score. Pianists and keyboard players will need to spend time analysing the musical texture to understand which notes belong to which musical line of which there are three - melody, harmony and an ostinato accompaniment. This is a simplified version in the original key of B flat minor.

Added:   13th December, 2017 20:12 PM   | Views  : 328    | Downloads  : 0    

Serenade (Petite Suite) arr. intermediate piano

Borodin was clearly quite an exceptional person known as a doctor and chemist as well as being a member of the Russian group of composers known and popularized as the “Mighty Handful.” His interest in music was essentially as a hobby but he was very well connected in Russian musical circles and his “Serenade” from the “Petite Suite” was published in 1896. The ostinato pattern that features in the work is an excellent unifying element in the composition and the strong melodic element in this miniature explores quite a melodic range. A tempo of 60 dotted quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute is used in the realization. The music editor suggests use of the piano sustaining pedal although this has not been marked in the score. Pianists and keyboard players will need to spend time analysing the musical texture to understand which notes belong to which musical line of which there are three - melody, harmony and an ostinato accompaniment. This is a simplified versionin the key of B minor.

Added:   13th December, 2017 20:12 PM   | Views  : 329    | Downloads  : 0    

The Easy Winners Original Piano Version

This is the original piano version of the “Easy Winners” and the tempo in the realisation is 76 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute whilst the repeats are not played. What is interesting about performing this piece is the impact of a change of tempo on the musical character and musical outcomes. A tempo of 70 quarter note beats to the minute sounds quite slow and yet 80 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute sounds fast. The view of the music editor is to play the piece at the slowest tempo musically possible whilst at the same time exploring the musical shapes which the realisation does rather inadequately. Generally, there is not a great amount of performance detail indicated in ragtime music although where opportunity arises during repeating sections performers need to explore dynamic range. The formal pattern of Joplin’s ragtime pieces generally have the structure of the typical American March which can be represented by letters as: I AA BB AA CC DD. Pianists also need to explore the ensemble options that exist with this piece that can be found on this website.

Added:   20th November, 2017 16:11 PM   | Views  : 367    | Downloads  : 0    

The Easy Winners arr. Intermediate Piano

In this arrangement for intermediate piano in the key G the realisation tempo is 72 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute whilst the repeats are not played. What is interesting about performing this piece is the impact of a change of tempo on the musical character and musical outcomes. A tempo of 70 quarter note beats to the minute sounds quite slow and yet 80 quarter note beats to the minute sounds fast. The view of the music editor is to play the piece at the slowest tempo musically possible whilst at the same time exploring the musical shapes which the realisation does rather inadequately. Generally, there is not a great amount of performance detail indicated in ragtime music although where opportunity arises when repeating sections performers need to explore dynamic range. The formal pattern of Joplin’s ragtime pieces generally have the structure of the typical American March which can be represented by letters as I AA BB AA CC DD. Pianists also need to explore the ensemble options that exist with this piece that can be found on this website.

Added:   20th November, 2017 16:11 PM   | Views  : 368    | Downloads  : 0    

First Movement from Sonata in A minor

A piece that possesses a haunting beauty written by a composer who knew C. P. E. Bach and who in 1794 settled in Moscow. Described as a sonata there are recordings featuring both the harpsichord and the piano. A tempo of 80 quarter note beats to the minute has been used in the realisation although the tempo needs to slow down at the approach to cadences. Quite clearly it is impossible to evidence how this music was performed in its own day but the structure would suggest that there would be tempo variations between the sections. The opening 8 bar phrase is repeated three times exploring the range of the instrument before the first of several quasi fantasia / cadenza sections which express music a different mood and benefit from being played at a slightly slower tempo. Performance conventions and articulations clearly differ between the piano and the harpsichord and the music editor suggests listening to different recordings and possibly adding some appropriate ornamentation at the cadences which provide the sectional framework for the structure of the piece. There are ossia staves to clarify some notation issues and provide suggested solutions to the playing of the ornaments. The passage work is at times exquisite and both musically and pianistically anticipates the compositional techniques adopted by later composers. The repeats are not played in the realisation

Added:   20th November, 2017 09:11 AM   | Views  : 374    | Downloads  : 0    

Notturno arr. intermediate piano

This arrangement for solo piano uses the first theme from the third movement of Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 in D. The movement is commonly referred to as “Notturno” meaning night piece and is a very melodic movement and like much of Borodin’s music is very adaptable to being played by a number of different instrument combinations. There are 3 sections in the arrangement – theme, repeat of the theme with a varied and fuller accompaniment and a closing section which can best be be described as a coda. A tempo of 70 quarter note beats to the minute is used in the realisation and there are some octave transposition in the parts whilst the appoggiaturas that appear in the string quartet score have been omitted. Wherever possible material from the original work, which dates from 1881, has been incorporated into the arrangement. score. The solo piano version does not have the section in canon and consequently texturally the musical is not as complete as it is in the ensemble arrangements.

Added:   1st September, 2017 07:09 AM   | Views  : 419    | Downloads  : 0    

Après un rêve arr. intermediate piano

The piece has its origins as a song composed in the key of the key of C minor published in 1878 and is one of the composers most beautiful and popular melodies. This is an excellent piece for developing tonal quality and the melody needs to be played with a singing and expressive legato. A tempo of 56 quarter note (crotchet) beats to the minute has been used in the realisation which is in the key of D minor. The pianist will need to make use of the sustaining pedal although this is not indicated and the score does require careful study in respect to the reading of the chromatic harmony. Fauré as a pianist and accompanist was very much was regarded as something of a metronome and not considered to be very sympathetic to singers of his songs particularly when they added subtlety and nuance at the end of phrases. It would be beneficial to spend time reading through the lyrics for the song in translation to have a true understanding of the music’s context. For players who would like an additional challenge there is also Percy Grainger arrangement of the song.

Added:   24th July, 2017 11:07 AM   | Views  : 340    | Downloads  : 0    

El Choclo arr. piano / keyboard

This very popular tango dates from 1903 and is probably quite a challenge for an improver level piano/keyboard player. A tempo of 60-66 quarter note (crotchet) notes to the minute is recommended. The English translation of El Choclo is the "The Ear of Corn". Ángel Villoldo (1861-1919) was an Argentinian composer and a pioneer of tango which became very popular from both the music and dancing point of view towards the end of the nineteenth century. It is popular today both in Argentina from where it originates and is a familiar and recognisable music style around the world.

Added:   27th July, 2017 11:07 AM   | Views  : 336    | Downloads  : 1