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Songbook Review: New Beginning
Mark Freshwater
Cover image of the songbook New Beginning by Mark Freshwater
New Beginning
Mark Freshwater
2024 / Mark Freshwater
52 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Mark Freshwater's New Beginning sheet music book is a collection of twelve pieces from three different periods of Mark's songwriting. The first three piano solos are from Mark's first two albums (2012-13), four are from 2015-18 when he focused on the spirit of Native American and deeply reflective music, and five are from Mark's 2022 album, Circle of Life. I would say that all of the pieces are at an intermediate to upper-intermediate playing level. There are no difficult key signatures and most of the timing is uncomplicated. Metronome settings are included, as are pedal markings. The pieces are all at slower, more relaxed tempos and there are no reaches of more than an octave. I played all of the pieces a couple of times and really enjoyed my time with them! The printed songbooks also include a CD with Mark's original recordings of all of the pieces - a very nice bonus!

One of the pieces, "Solace" is actually a duet for piano and flute, with the flute carrying quite a bit of the melody - a great learning experience for piano students! If no flute players are available, the flute part could certainly be played on a keyboard or even another C instrument, and the piece also sounds fine as a piano solo.

New Beginning is a great collection for teaching as well as playing for enjoyment and should appeal to pianists at any age. The printed books are spiral-bound, well-spaced and easy to read. Chord charts are included for most of the pieces. Individual pieces are available from MusicNotes.com. Physical songbooks and PDFs are also available from Mark's website.

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

Aurora - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
Nightfall - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Win or Lose - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 4 pages
Babes in the New World - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Talisman - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 5 1/2 pages
The Oracle - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 2 1/2 pages
Solace - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 pages
Elise Marie - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 1/2 pages
June's Final Adventure - Key of F (1 flat) - 3 pages
In the Moment - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 1/2 pages
Time Passages - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 1/2 pages
New Beginning - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 1/2 pages
February 5, 2024
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