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Songbook Review: Shadows and Shades
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the songbook Shadows and Shades  by James Michael Stevens
Shadows and Shades
James Michael Stevens
2023 / James M Stevens Music
37 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Shadows and Shades songbook is the companion sheet music collection for James Michael Stevens' 2023 recording by the same name. All twelve piano solos from the recording are included and were notated by the composer. Dr. Stevens writes his music out before recording it, ensuring that the sheet music and the recordings match. The Dean of the Music School at Welch College in Gallatin, TN, Dr. Stevens is approaching 7000 items on SheetMusicPlus.com - more than any other composer including the classics! (He also composes music for organ, choirs, and various ensembles.)

The music for this collection was composed in November and December 2022, and is reflective and often very poignant. Most of the pieces are played at a relaxed tempo and all are rated at an intermediate playing level. The notation is well-spaced and easy to read. There are a few reaches of more than an octave, but not many. All of the pieces are three pages long (41-43 bars each), making this excellent teaching material for piano students of all ages. The very expressive quality of the music makes it fun and interesting to learn - creative storytelling with music! More advanced pianists will enjoy having music that they can just sit down and play without a lot of practice.

The sheet music for Shadows and Shades is available to download from SheetMusicPlus.com and SheetMusicDirect.com. It can be downloaded as the full songbook or individual pieces. Recommended!

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

Borealis - Key of D major (2 sharps) - 3 pages
Theme from an Early Morning - Key of Bb major (2 flats) - 3 pages
Flow My Thoughts - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 3 pages
Silently My Love - Key of C major (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Hour Glass - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 3 pages
Theme from Dream Lake - Key of Eb major (3 flats)/ C major (0) - 3 pages
Serenata al Tramonto - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Andaman Sea - Key of G major (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Lost in a Moment - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Where Peace Is Found - Key of A major (3 sharps) - 3 pages
Twilight Meditation - Key of C minor (3 flats)/ C major (0) - 3 pages
When Night Has Fallen - Key of F major (1 flat) - 3 pages
January 20, 2023
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