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Songbook Review: Reflecting Forward, Volume 1
Ryan Marvel
Cover image of the songbook Reflecting Forward, Volume 1 by Ryan Marvel
Reflecting Forward, Volume 1
Ryan Marvel
2017 / Ryan Marvel Music
40 pages / 10 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
Reflecting Forward, Volume 1 is the companion sheet music book to Ryan Marvel’s 2017 “Album of the Year”-winning recording by the same name. (The album won this award from both Whisperings Solo Piano Radio and SoloPiano.com.) Ten of the fourteen piano solos from the album are included in the songbook and are beautifully transcribed with clear performance instructions, metronome settings, accents and dynamics. The pieces are printed on a bright white paper stock, are well-spaced and easy to read. The front and back covers are full-color artwork from the CD. Most of these pieces are not difficult, but to do them justice, the pianist should have an understanding of playing with deep emotional expression. Some of the chords have a reach of more than an octave, but those can be adjusted or rolled to fit each pianist’s hands. This music is incredibly beautiful and expresses a range of emotions. It is well-suited for teaching advancing students (especially teens and adults) as well as for early-advanced pianists of pretty much any age. All of the pieces are exceptional, but my own favorites are “Apology,” “Horizons” and “Stillness.” The book includes Ryan Marvel’s bio and is available exclusively from www.RyanMarvel.com. Individual pieces are also available for download. I very highly recommend this music!

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

Forgotten - Key of G minor (2 flats) / C minor (3 flats) - 4 pages
Apology - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) / A major (3 sharps) - 6 pages
Horizons - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 6 pages
Then, Now - Key of Bb minor (5 flats) / C minor (3 flats) - 3 pages
Stillness - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Reverence - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 2 pages
Somber - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) - 3 pages
Waiting - Key of Eb minor (6 flats) - 4 pages
Hopeful - Key of D (2 sharps) - 3 pages
Nostalgic - Key of C# minor/E (4 sharps) - 3 pages
March 25, 2018
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