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Songbook Review: Haiku
Doug Hammer
Cover image of the songbook Haiku by Doug Hammer
Haiku
Doug Hammer
2015 / Doug Hammer
54 pages / 15 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Haiku is the companion songbook to Doug Hammer’s 2015 album by the same name. All fifteen tracks from the recording are included, transcribed by Doug himself and proofed by yours truly. This is the first printed songbook of Doug’s music, with more to come soon. When I was proofing the music, I was very impressed with Doug’s attention to detail. Where there are reaches of more than an octave, alternatives are offered for pianists with smaller hands. He also left two blank pages in the book to avoid page turns on two of the shorter pieces. The book is spiral-bound and the front and back covers match the artwork on the CD, making this a very beautiful book inside and out! The music is printed on a slightly heavier stock that should last a long time but not interfere with page turns. The notation is clear and beautifully-spaced. Pedaling suggestions and metronome markings are included, along with dynamics and expression. The book is a joy to play. Some of the timing is a bit tricky, but it easily falls into place if you count it. There is a nice range of difficulty levels from the fairly easy “Hope” to the more complicated “Sway,” so even pianists at an intermediate level will find pieces to learn and enjoy. Most of the pieces are slow and relaxed as well as melodic and graceful, so it’s a nice escape from the stress of daily life. The book is available in printed and PDF formats from doughammer.net. Very highly recommended!

The song titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages are:

Possibility - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 1 1/2 pages
Flight - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Wind - Key of C - 4 pages
Glorious - Key of B (5 sharps) - 2 pages
Dancing - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 4 pages
Hope - Key of G - 2 pages
Sway - Key of G - 6 pages
Haiku - Key of Gb (6 flats) - 6 pages
Golden - Key of Db (5 flats) - 4 pages
New - Key of Db - 4 pages
Heartstring - Key of B minor/D (2 sharps) - 2 pages
Lost - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 2 pages
Rise - Key of A minor/C (0 sharps or flats) - 5 pages
Goodbye - Key of D - 2 pages
Neverending - Key of D - 2 pages
July 20, 2015
More reviews of Doug Hammer songbooks
Cover image of the songbook Americana by Haiku
2016
Cover image of the songbook Heart by Haiku
2013