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Songbook Review: Dawn
Ola Gjeilo
Cover image of the songbook Dawn by Ola Gjeilo
Ola Gjeilo
2022 / Hal Leonard
47 pages / 17 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Dawn solo piano sheet music book is the companion sheet music collection for Ola Gjeilo's 2022 solo piano recording by the same name. All seventeen pieces from the Decca Classics recording are included. The music was composed over the course of a year on the US West Coast (primarily California and Oregon) and was inspired by the peaceful light and stillness of dawn. I reviewed and love the recording, so I jumped at the chance to review the sheet music, too!

All of the pieces are relaxed and soothing, and most of them are fairly easy to master. Several have tenth chords on the left hand, which I can't reach, so I'll need to sit down with a pencil and make some notations about alternatives for the notes I can't reach. (Broken chords and octaves will usually work, and sometimes an out-of-reach note for one hand can be managed with the other - it's just a matter of finding an alternative that doesn't change the sound of the piece too much.)

The book itself is beautifully done and is in the 9"x12" format. The binding is stapled, but I had no trouble keeping the book open on my piano as I played. Most of the pieces are quite short (mostly 2-3 pages), and the notation is very roomy and easy to read. Metronome settings are at the beginning of each piece, but no style or expression marks are there, leaving it up to the pianist to interpret the music (or copy the recording). Dawn is a collection of beautifully expressive piano solos that will give pianists at upper-intermediate and up playing levels many hours of musical enjoyment.

The Dawn songbook is available from Ola's website, Amazon and SheetMusicPlus.com. Highly recommended!

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

Daybreak - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages
New Moon - Key of B minor (2 sharps)/ G (1 sharp) - 3 pages
Eternity - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 1 page
Sun Prelude - Key of F minor (4 flats)- 3 pages
Blue - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 3 pages
Manhattan Sunrise - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 2 pages
Homebound - Key of G (1 sharp) - 2 pages
Clarity - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 2 pages
Montana - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Orange Sound - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 4 pages
Stasis - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 2 pages
Chronicles - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 4 pages
Origin - Key of D minor (1 flat) - 1 page
Silver Lining - Key of G# minor (5 sharps) - 3 pages
Dawn Sky - Key of F (1 flat) - 2 pages
First Light - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 3 pages
Shine - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 3 pages
March 11, 2023