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Songbook Review: Dawn
Earl Johnson
Cover image of the songbook Dawn by Earl Johnson
Earl Johnson
2021 / Earl Johnson
60 pages / 15 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Dawn is the companion sheet music book for Earl Johnson's 2021 solo piano recording by the same name. All fifteen pieces from the recording are included, plus a bio and three pages of info about the music and the individual pieces. Most of the pieces are at an intermediate to upper-intermediate playing level and are very expressive, making them fun and satisfying to play for more advanced pianists as well. I have really enjoyed my time spent this sheet music book and look forward to getting back to it for my own enjoyment!

The music takes us on a 15-hour journey, with each piece representing one hour of time from 3PM through 5AM the following morning. It is a journey of solitude and darkness, but hope is never completely lost. A variety of moods and feelings are expressed in the music, most of which are on the slower, darker side.

The notation is well-spaced and easy to read, with metronome settings, and well-marked expression. There are no reaches of more than an octave. Phrasing is marked in most of the pieces; pedal markings were not included, but clearing the pedal once a measure or as needed is always a good rule of thumb.

Printed books are available from Earl's site and Amazon, and the full book and individual pieces are available to download from Earl's site. Check it out!

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

Last Soul - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 3 pages
Through the Trees - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 5 pages
Bernard's Castle - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 pages
When the Fog Comes - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 4 pages
Forever Lost - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 pages
Eventide - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 2 pages
Chasing Shadows - Key of C minor/ Eb major (3 flats) - 2 pages
Road of Secrets - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Enchanted Waters - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Moonlight - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 pages
Passeggio - Key of C# minor (4 sharps) - 2 pages
Waking the Fireflies - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 3 pages
Inspire - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Final Hour - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 4 pages
Dawn - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 3 pages
August 22, 2022
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