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Songbook Review: Dividing the Darkness
Steve Rivera
Cover image of the songbook Dividing the Darkness by Steve Rivera
Dividing the Darkness
Steve Rivera
2020 / Steve Rivera Music
68 pages / 11 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Dividing the Darkness songbook is the companion sheet music book for Steve Rivera’s 2015 debut album by the same name. All ten pieces from the album are transcribed for solo piano including the bonus track at the end of the recording (unnamed on the album, it appears as “Waiting for Susan” in the songbook). The scores were transcribed by John Zechiel and proofed/edited by me. The book also includes an “About Steve” page at the end and enlarged versions of the front and back cover artwork on the front and back of the book. Since there were additional musicians on the recording, the sheet music isn’t an exact match, but the transcriptions are as close to the way Steve played the piano as possible.

None of the pieces are overly difficult, so pianists at an upper-intermediate/early-advanced playing level should be able to master them with some practice. There are a few places that are a little awkward for smaller hands, but not many. The layout is roomy and very easy to read, and most of the music is made up of single notes on both hands. A variety of moods and experiences are expressed in the music, so there is a lot to savor for pianists at any age! I really enjoyed working on this songbook and enjoyed playing through the finished book even more! I love being able to play “Delicate Force,” my favorite of Steve’s compositions so far!

The songbook and individual pieces are available as PDF downloads from www.steveriveramusic.com.

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

My Way Home - Key of E (4 sharps) - 11 pages
This Ancient Road - Key of A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 6 pages
Help Me to Listen - Key of C# minor (4 sharps) - 6 pages
Skyward - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 10 pages
Beautiful Years - Key of A (3 sharps) - 7 pages
So Quickly Gone - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 4 pages
Delicate Force - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 9 pages
Valley of Light - Key of D (2 sharps) - 6 pages
Skyward Coda - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 2 pages
Waiting For Susan (bonus track) - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 3 pages
October 18, 2020
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