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Songbook Review: Joy Noel
David Lanz
Cover image of the songbook Joy Noel by David Lanz
Joy Noel
David Lanz
2013 / Hal Leonard Corp.
96 pages / 15 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Joy Noel songbook is the companion sheet music collection to David Lanz’s 2012 CD by the same name. All fifteen songs and improvisations have been transcribed note-for-note to the recording and are a pleasure to play. The transcriptions are clear, roomy, and easy to read; expression and dynamics are clearly indicated. The only note of warning would be that there are quite a few chords with a reach of a tenth, which is more than most pianists (including me!) can stretch. In those areas, it is perfectly okay to roll the chords, shorten them by a note, or, where possible, let the other hand play the unreachable note. I know many pianists will just give up and not play a piece like this, which is unfortunate. Adjustments to fit your own hands are completely permissible and encouraged so that all pianists can enjoy this music.

A list of the included songs, the keys they are written in, and how many pages they are is below. Most of the shorter pieces are Lanz improvisations, some of the carols also contain improv sections within them. Pianists at an upper intermediate or early advanced level shouldn’t have any problems with this music. The collection is a wonderful addition to anyone’s Christmas sheet music collection - especially those who like arrangements that are a little different. The book is available from davidlanz.com, Amazon, HalLeonard.com, and wherever sheet music is sold. Very highly recommended!

Joy Noel Prelude (Lanz) - Key of G (1 sharp) - 1 page
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - Key of G/C (0 sharps or flats) -
7 pages
Coventry Carol - Key of D Minor (1 flat) - 9 pages
Jingle Bells - Key of Ab (4 flats)/ G/Bb (2 flats)/ C - 6 pages
Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella - Key of F (1 flat) - 11 pages
“O’er The Fields...” (Lanz) - Key of Ab - 2 pages
Noel Nouvelet - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 10 pages
Good King Wenceslas - Key of F - 8 pages
On Christmas Morning (Lanz) - Key of G - 1 page
Angel In My Stocking (Lanz) - Key of G/ Eb (3 flats) - 5 pages
Carol of the Bells - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 12 pages
We Three Kings - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 12 pages
Angel de la Noche (Lanz) - Key of A minor - 2 pages
The Holly and the Ivy - Key of G - 6 pages
A Distant Choir (Lanz) - Ab/C minor (3 flats) - 1 page
October 20, 2013
This songbook has been tagged as:
Holiday Songbooks
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