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Songbook Review: Celtique
Doug Hammer
Cover image of the songbook Celtique by Doug Hammer
Doug Hammer
2018 / Doug Hammer
69 pages / 14 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Playing the piano is one of my very favorite things to do, and it’s rare that I don’t enjoy reviewing a new songbook, but there is something very special about Doug Hammer’s Celtique, the companion sheet music book to his 2018 album by the same name. Fourteen of the fifteen pieces from the album are included (“Crumbling Wall” was omitted for a variety of reasons). I really love the variety of moods and stylings in this music, which ranges from very calm and peaceful to very bold and dramatic. This is also quite possibly Doug’s easiest book (overall) to play from cover to cover, so pianists from a late intermediate level on up will find much to enjoy!

The book itself is spiral-bound with full-color enlargements of the CD cover artwork on the front and back covers. The scores are beautifully-spaced, and the layout is roomy and very easy to read. Several of the pieces have very specific pedaling, which is clearly marked and easy to follow. There are a few reaches of more than an octave, but only a few, and those chords can be shortened or rolled if you can’t reach them. One small note of caution. If you have on a keyboard or electronic piano with fewer than eighty-eight keys, a couple of songs will need to be adjusted because Doug uses the full range of the piano keyboard from the very top to the very bottom. Some of the rhythms are fairly complex, but counting them out will not be difficult. Celtique is an incredibly good songbook and I give it my highest recommendation! It is currently available from www.DougHammer.net.

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

Celtique (Daybreak) - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 8 pages
Through the Mist - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 6 pages
Wandering Path - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 5 pages
Ancient Stones - Key of D (2 sharps) - 3 pages
She Beckons - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 5 pages
To the Sea - Key of Eb (3 flats)/ E (4 sharps)/ F (1 flat) - 5 pages
Wind and Waves - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 6 pages
Calm Water - Key of E (4 sharps) - 3 pages
Safe Harbor - Key of A flat (4 flats) - 6 pages
Voices of the Past - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 3 1/2 pages
Golden Land - Key of F (1 flat) - 4 pages
Moss and Earth - Key of A minor (0) - 5 1/2 pages
Journey Home - Key of G (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Celtique (Twilight) - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
May 5, 2019
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