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Songbook Review: Quiet Christmas Piano
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook Quiet Christmas Piano by James Michael Stevens
Quiet Christmas Piano
James Michael Stevens
2020 / James M Stevens Music
14 pages / 43 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Quiet Christmas Piano songbook is the companion sheet music book for James Michael Stevens’ 2020 solo piano Christmas album by the same name. As the title suggests, there is nothing fancy or flashy about these piano solos, but the arrangements were created to bring out the beautiful melodies of the songs and to offer a calming ambiance to the holiday season - for the listener as well as for the pianist playing them. The arrangements are not complicated, and I’d say that all fourteen pieces are suitable for an intermediate-level pianist. All of the songs are three pages each, so these lovely arrangements would be very suitable for holiday piano recitals, children’s Christmas programs, gentle background music - any situation where sweet, uncomplicated Christmas music is preferred. Most of the songs (see below) are traditional nuggets, but there is an “Angel Medley” that combines “Angels From the Realms of Glory” and “Angels We Have Heard On High,” and a few lesser-known songs that could easily provide welcome relief to those getting very tired of being “jingle belled” to distraction!

Even though these arrangements are fairly easy to play, they have a very strong contemporary classical/new age feeling that is more than pleasant. The notation is clear, well-spaced and easy to read; timing in most cases is fairly basic; metronome settings are indicated; there are no difficult key signatures; and there are no reaches of more than an octave - and not very many octaves either. Pianists of all ages will find much to enjoy in Quiet Christmas Piano and I recommend it!. The songbooks are currently available for download only from Sheet Music Plus.

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

Sing We Now of Christmas - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 3 pages
Deck the Halls* - Key of D major (2 sharps) - 3 pages
O Christmas Tree - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Angel Medley - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 3 pages
Silent Night - Key of F (1 flat) / D (2 sharps) - 3 pages
Joy to the World - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Infant Holy, Infant Lowly - Key of G (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Mary’s Lullaby - Key of D (2 sharps) - 3 pages
Oh Come, Little Children (with Jesus Loves Me) - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
In the Bleak Midwinter - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Toyland - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
What Child Is This - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
O Little Town of Bethlehem - Key of Eb (3 flats) - 3 pages
Away in a Manger - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages


June 10, 2020
This songbook has been tagged as:
Holiday Songbooks
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