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Songbook Review: Noël
Doug Hammer
Cover image of the songbook Noël by Doug Hammer
Doug Hammer
2022 / Doug Hammer
34 pages / 7 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Noël is the companion sheet music book for Doug Hammer's 2008 album by the same name. Seven of the pieces from the album are included, transcribed by Doug and proof-read by me. Six of the seven piano solos are Doug's arrangements of traditional Christmas carols and one is Doug's original composition, "It's Christmas Time." That piece is arranged for a vocalist (or another C instrument such as keyboard, violin, flute, etc.) with piano accompaniment and also includes chord charts. It was originally recorded in the key of Db, and the sheet music was transcribed in the much easier key of C. The sheet music for these Christmas songs and carols has been available for several years, but each piece has recently (2022) been revised and edited to match the recordings as closely as possible and to correct any previous errors. This songbook is a joy to play and will certainly brighten your holiday celebrations as well as your own holiday playing pleasure.

For pianists with smaller hands, a few of the pieces have tenths on the left hand. In some of those places, the right hand can play the upper left hand note. The chords can be shortened, rolled, or can be played as octaves to suit your playing style and your reach. It won't sound exactly the same as the recording, but it was important to show in the sheet music how Doug plays the pieces. You are welcome to adjust the music to fit your own hands!

You can check on Doug's website to see if the individual pieces have been rated as "easy," "intermediate" or "challenging" when compared to Doug's other sheet music. None of the pieces in this collection are rated as "challenging."

The songbook is available as a spiral-bound printed book and as a PDF download from Doug's website, as can the seven individual pieces. The seven pieces from the songbook plus Doug's arrangements of "Do You Hear What I Hear" and "When Christmas Comes To Town," are available to download individually from MusicNotes.com.

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

The First Noël - Key of D (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Carol of the Bells - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 7 pages
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
In The Bleak Midwinter - Key of F (1 flat) - 4 pages
Silent Night - Key of G (1 sharp) - 4 pages
It's Christmas Time - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 5 pages
December 9, 2022
This songbook has been tagged as:
Holiday SongbooksHoliday Songbooks 2022
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