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Songbook Review: Open Sky
David Nevue
Cover image of the songbook Open Sky by David Nevue
Open Sky
David Nevue
2020 / Midnight Rain Productions
92 pages / 17 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Open Sky is the companion songbook to David Nevue's 2013 solo piano album by the same name. All seventeen pieces from the album are included and were transcribed to match the recording note-for-note. I love the variety of music in this collection - from dark and stormy to light and carefree. There are thirteen original pieces and David's solo piano arrangements of four cover songs: "For the Beauty of the Earth," "Scarborough Fair," "The Water Is Wide," and "Morning Has Broken." The playing level of the music ranges from early-intermediate to early-advanced and the variety of moods and playing styles encourages pianists and piano students to expand the expressive quality of their own playing. I have been teaching David Nevue's music to my piano students for a lot of years and have found that students love playing it so they practice more. Parents really enjoy listening to his music, too, so it's a win-win-win for everyone involved.

Open Sky is available in several different formats. My favorite is the spiral-bound book with its enlarged cover artwork, plastic spiral binding, and quality paper stock. Amazon offers the songbook with their own "perfect" binding and lighter-weight pages, but their book is much harder to keep open on the piano. I think it's well worth the additional $7 to buy the book from David's website to avoid the inconvenience of trying to keep the book open while playing the music. I suspect that the spiral-bound book will last a lot longer, too, since it won't get the wear and tear of trying to keep it propped open when in use. If you only want the sheet music for a few of the pieces from the album, you can download them individually on David's website.

Both versions of the printed books include a "Fact Sheet" "about David. All of the notation is well-spaced and easy to read. Pedaling suggestions, phrasing and metronome settings are included in each piece. A few pieces are in somewhat challenging key signatures (see below), but I wouldn't call any of the pieces difficult. Dynamics and tempo changes are very clearly marked. This is an excellent sheet music book for pianists at any age and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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

Open Sky - Key of D (2 sharps)/ E (4 sharps) - 6 pages
The Sound of Sunshine - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Dragonflies - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Butterfly Dance - Key of B (5 sharps) - 4 1/2 pages
For the Beauty of the Earth - Key of Gb (6 flats) - 4 pages
Forgotten Places - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 5 1/2 pages
Undertow - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 3 pages
Scarborough Fair - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 6 pages
Summer Rain - Key of D (2 sharps) - 7 pages
Distant Thunder - Key of D (2 sharps) - 3 pages
Twister - Key of Eb minor (6 flats) - 7 pages
The Water Is Wide - Key of B (5 sharps) - 4 pages
Dark Afternoon - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 pages
Echo Canyon - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 pages
Stargazing - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 5 pages
Eclipse - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 5 1/2 pages
Morning Has Broken - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) / E (4 sharps) - 5 pages
January 29, 2021
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