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Songbook Review: Quietudes For Piano, Nos. 1-12
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook Quietudes For Piano, Nos. 1-12 by James Michael Stevens
Quietudes For Piano, Nos. 1-12
James Michael Stevens
2019 / James M Stevens Music
37 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Quietudes For Piano, Nos. 1-12 is the companion sheet music book for the 2019 recording by James Michael Stevens. The twelve piano solos are each in one of the twelve major keys and are intended to encourage piano students to try some of the more challenging keys as well as the easier ones. I would put the playing level for most of the Quietudes at intermediate, as most of them are single notes on each hand. #12 is the only one I would call upper-intermediate, as it is the key of B major (5 sharps) and the left hand consists of four-note chord patterns. Most of the rhythms throughout the book are built around quarter notes and eighth notes, so the timing is quite easy. Dr. Stevens refers to the music as “ambient,” but I find the pieces to be very pleasantly melodic and more structured than what I would usually call “ambient.” They are flowing, fairly slow and rubato, allowing the pianist to freely express himself or herself. Most adult pianists will enjoy the relaxing and uplifting quality of the music.

Each of the twelve pieces is three pages long and all but one has 42 measures - #3 has 43. The playing order of the pieces starts with #1 in the key of C and each subsequent piece is in a key a half step higher than the previous one. (C then Db then D, etc.) It’s a very nice collection suitable for any age group and is available as a download on SheetMusicPlus.com.
December 21, 2019
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