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Songbook Review: Night
Doug Hammer
Cover image of the songbook Night by Doug Hammer
Doug Hammer
2021 / Dreamworld Productions
20 pages / 6 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Night songbook is the companion sheet music collection for Doug Hammer's 2021 solo piano album by the same name. The six original pieces were transcribed by the composer and proofed by myself to match the recordings as closely as possible. Doug added some reverb to the recordings for atmosphere, but not so much that it distorts the music or makes it difficult to get it to sound "right" on a "regular" piano. The quiet and gentle pieces tell the story of someone who can't sleep and are very relaxing, open and hypnotic. Longtime fans of Doug Hammer's music know him to be a composer/pianist who can play pretty much any style of music and play it better than just about anyone, but these pieces are reduced to their essence and have a very calming effect to listen to and to play. Doug and I evaluated each piece as to a playing level of easy, intermediate or challenging, and four are easy and two are intermediate.

Because there are only six pieces in this collection and they are fairly short (the playing time of the album is 24 minutes), Doug is making this songbook and individual pieces available as PDF downloads only rather than having books printed. The download includes a larger version of the beautiful cover artwork by Doug's wife, Emmanuelle Le Gal of Dreamworld Design. The layout is roomy and easy to read. Each piece includes metronome settings and specific pedaling where indicated. It's a beautiful book that will provide a soothing place of peace for both the pianist and anyone lucky enough to be within earshot of the piano. Some of the music is played very high on the piano keyboard, so you will need to have a full 88 keys or adjust the range of a keyboard to a higher octave. There are some reaches of over an octave, but not many, and those can be adjusted to fit smaller hands by removing a note here and there or playing it with the other hand where possible. The songbook and individual pieces are available to download from doughammer.net and MusicNotes.com. Don't miss it!

The titles of the pieces, the key(s) they are in and the number of pages are:

Dreams Won't Come - Key of C minor (3 flats)/ G minor (2 flats)/ E minor (1 sharp)/ F minor (4 flats) - 3 pages
Stars Still Shine - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 6 pages
Empty Streets - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages
Tick Tock - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Dawn Approaching - Key of Db (5 flats) - 3 pages
Close My Eyes - Key of D (2 sharps) - 3 pages

April 9, 2021
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