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Songbook Review: Midnight Clear
Brad Jacobsen
Cover image of the songbook Midnight Clear by Brad Jacobsen
Midnight Clear
Brad Jacobsen
2015 / Brad Jacobsen Music
50 pages / 10 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Midnight Clear is the companion songbook to Brad Jacobsen’s 2015 solo piano album by the same name. All ten songs from the recording are included, transcribed note-for-note by John Zechiel and proofed by Brad Jacobsen and myself. The book is spiral-bound and printed on a medium-weight bright white paper stock with clear, clean, well-spaced notation that is easy to read. The front cover is a full-color reproduction of the album artwork. All of the pieces are well-known Christmas standards arranged by Jacobsen. A couple of pieces have rhythms that are a little bit tricky, but most of these songs should be playable by intermediate-level and above pianists with some practice while more advanced pianists will enjoy being able to just sit down and play most of these songs. The arrangements are very accessible with some interesting personal touches and interpretations by Jacobsen. My favorites to play are “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and “Good King Wenceslas.” A couple of pieces have some big jumps, but there are no reaches of more than an octave. Expression is well-marked, pedaling suggestions are given, and metronome settings are included, making this an excellent collection for piano students as well as people looking for a new collection of solo piano carols. The book is available from www.bradjacobsenmusic.com and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

I have listed the titles, the keys they are in, and the number of pages below:

Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful - Key of C (0 sharps or flats)/
D (2 sharps) - 6 pages
The First Noel - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 4 pages
Joy to the World - Key of A (3 sharps) - 6 pages
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - Key of E minor (1 sharp) -
5 pages
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Key of C - 5 pages
Away in a Manger - Key of Bb (2 flats)/ Db (5 flats) - 4 pages
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Key of F minor (4 flats) -
6 pages
What Child Is This? - Key of E minor - 4 pages
O Little Town of Bethlehem - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 pages
Good King Wenceslas - Key of G (1 sharp)/ Ab (3 flats) -
4 pages
October 26, 2015
This songbook has been tagged as:
Holiday Songbooks
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