The Christmas 2021 Shortlist: Intermediate Piano Music

SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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The Christmas season is accompanied by a uniquely popular and significant body of music spanning multiple genres, and it’s no wonder that there are so many varied piano collections to choose from, whatever your level.

Once again this year, here is the updated and expanded Pianodao shortlist of the best seasonal piano sheet music, including a mix of new releases and classic favourites!

The 2021 Pianodao shortlist continues with music collections aimed at INTERMEDIATE players (around UK Grade 3-5)…

You will find the Pianodao 2021 Christmas Shortlists for other levels here:


And as ever, remember that Pianodao Tea Room members will receive a 20% discount from Musicroom for any of the publications included below.

Continue reading The Christmas 2021 Shortlist: Intermediate Piano Music

Folk Songs of the Far East

SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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Flushed with enthusiasm for Hal Leonard’s just-published African American Folk Songs Collection (reviewed here) I wanted to waste no time looking back at previous publications in this superb and growing series.

In this review I will focus on four collections of intermediate piano arrangements of traditional songs from the Far East:

  • Chinese Folk Songs Collection (arr. Joseph Johnson, 2009)
  • Korean Folk Songs Collection (arr. Lawrence Lee, 2010)
  • Japanese Folk Songs Collection (arr. Mika Goto, 2013)
  • Malay Folk Songs Collection (arr. Charmaine Siagian, 2019)
Continue reading Folk Songs of the Far East

African American Folk Songs

SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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Here in the UK we celebrate Black History Month each October, and with perfect timing Hal Leonard have recently launched a wonderful new sheet music collection. The African American Folk Songs Collection contains intermediate piano arrangements by Artina McCain of 24 traditional songs.


Dr. McCain, who comes from Arlington, Texas and is now based in Memphis, Tennessee, has won multiple Global Music Awards for her recordings of works by composers of African descent.

In her introduction to this new piano collection she tells us,

“African Americans created a rich history of song and dance. I am proud to say that I am the great-great-great-granddaughter of these strong and resilient enslaved Americans and can trace my origins in America back almost 200 years. In the late 18th century our musical history began with the African American Spiritual (or Negro Spiritual) and is the largest and most significant form of American folk song. There are over 6,000 or these anonymous masterpieces! Through oral tradition, they were passed down from generation to generation and brilliantly blended the rich musical culture of Africa with text describing hardships that they were experiencing in America.”

From this extraordinary treasury of song, McCain has selected her 24 classics for inclusion here, making original, wonderfully pianistic and pedagogically valuable arrangements.

I’m happy to tell you right away that this book is really outstanding, but let’s take a closer look…

Continue reading African American Folk Songs

FREE! James Welburn: Cool Cat Blues

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Courtesy of EDITIONS MUSICA FERRUM


James Welburn has produced two collections of original music for Musica Ferrum which I have previously reviewed: Reflections in Waltz and Musical Escapades, both highly enjoyable.

Cool Cat Blues comes from his hotly anticipated and soon to be released third collection Adventures & Accolades.

I will review the collection once it’s available, but in the meantime here’s a preview of Cool Cat Blues, an astutely observed jazz piece for the intermediate player; those looking for fresh material that will get their toes tapping are in for a treat!

And here’s your free promotional copy of the sheet music to this piece, courtesy of Editions Musica Ferrum:


Further details of the book, including the option of purchasing a digital copy or studio license, are available from the publisher here.


PIANODAO TEA ROOM members receive 20% DISCOUNT
on all sheet music purchases from www.musicroom.com

All products featured on Pianodao are independently selected by Andrew Eales.
However, when you buy something through the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, without affecting the price you pay.

FREE! Christine Artemis Pappa: Baby Rag

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Courtesy of EDITIONS MUSICA FERRUM


Baby Rag is a riot of fun, and comes from the colourfully varied early intermediate collection Mosaic 3, recently published by Musica Ferrum as part of this growing, progressive series.

Christine Artemis Pappa points out in her introduction to the piece that the stride left hand leaps and right hand sixths could prove challenging for some, but I think any player by around Grade 4 will be able to have lots of fun playing this jauntily syncopated and memorably melodic skit. Note that quaver/eighth notes here are meant to be swung.

You can catch a few bars of this piece in this promotional video, which also reveals the range and character of the Mosaic 3 book:

The Mosaic series is available from Musicroom here, and digital copies and site licenses are as ever available directly from Musica Ferrum here.

Here’s your FREE sheet music download of Baby Rag to enjoy:



PIANODAO TEA ROOM members receive 20% DISCOUNT
on all sheet music purchases from www.musicroom.com

All products featured on Pianodao are independently selected by Andrew Eales.
However, when you buy something through the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, without affecting the price you pay.

FREE! Alison Mathews: Whispering Breeze

FREE SHEET MUSIC DOWNLOAD
Courtesy of EDITIONS MUSICA FERRUM


Whispering Breeze is drawn from Alison Mathews 2019 publication Landscapes: Poetic Piano Solos, which I reviewed here when it was published.

Landscapes is available from Musicroom here, or as a digital copy or site license from the publisher’s website here.

Whispering Breeze is one of the easiest pieces in the collection, and could be attempted by an intermediate player at around UK Grade 3.

The beautifully meandering but memorable melody here enjoys a gently mesmerising syncopation which you will easily pick up after listening to the composer’s recording:



PIANODAO TEA ROOM members receive 20% DISCOUNT
on all sheet music purchases from www.musicroom.com

All products featured on Pianodao are independently selected by Andrew Eales.
However, when you buy something through the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, without affecting the price you pay.

FREE! Ben Crosland: Memento

FREE SHEET MUSIC DOWNLOAD
Courtesy of EDITIONS MUSICA FERRUM


Memento is a taken from the latest album of fresh, original music by British composer Ben Crosland, which is available here in physical form, and as a digital download from the publisher here. The collection will be reviewed on Pianodao soon.

Originally written for “felt piano”, the music weaves its gentle magic with a 12/8 left hand figuration that benefits from a large hand span and requires supple wrist movement. The nostalgic melodies of the right hand above this deft harmonic base will enchant player and listener alike.

Suitable for players at around Grade 4 level.


PIANODAO TEA ROOM members receive 20% DISCOUNT
on all sheet music purchases from www.musicroom.com

All products featured on Pianodao are independently selected by Andrew Eales.
However, when you buy something through the site’s retail links, Pianodao may earn a small commission, without affecting the price you pay.

Accent on William Gillock

SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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There’s little doubt in my mind that William Gillock (1917-1993) was one of the most significant educational piano composers of the twentieth century, and it’s a delight to be reviewing The Willis Music Company‘s new complete edition of the Accent on Gillock series. All of the original eight volumes (still available separately) also now appear in one newly edited and engraved volume.

Let’s therefore take a moment to consider Gillock’s seminal importance before reviewing this essential new compendium…

Continue reading Accent on William Gillock

Borislava Taneva: Sound Stories, Riddles, Puzzles and Plays

SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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The brilliantly inventive music of Bulgarian pianist and composer Borislava Taneva has steadily become one of the jewels of the Editions Musica Ferrum catalogue.

Taneva’s music appears in all three Mosaic books (which I have featured here and will revisit as the series continues to grow), and she has three titles of her own: Sound Stories (2016), and two volumes entitled Riddles, Puzzles and Plays.

Taneva’s music is strikingly creative, and the seam of pedagogy running though it is not simply good: it’s truly inspiring. So read on for a full review and overview…

Continue reading Borislava Taneva: Sound Stories, Riddles, Puzzles and Plays

Jakub Metelka: Little Virtuoso

SHEET MUSIC REVIEW • by ANDREW EALES
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Reviewing Modern Piano Studies by the acclaimed Czech pianist, teacher and composer Jakub Metelka back in 2019 I concluded:

“Above all, Jakub Metelka’s Modern Piano Studies offers a set of fun little pieces which marry the benefits of piano studies to the delights of musically engaging bonbons suitable for informal performance and student recitals…
I suspect that teachers who try this book with a single student will soon find themselves returning to it with others, and that it will quietly establish itself as an essential studio favourite.”

It is no surprise that Modern Piano Studies has become an international bestseller, and as a follow-up Bärenreiter have now also published his collection Little Virtuoso, which earlier received the Bronze Medal at the Global Music Awards in 2017.

Continue reading Jakub Metelka: Little Virtuoso