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Songbook Review: A Seaside View
Suzanne Herman
Cover image of the songbook A Seaside View by Suzanne Herman
A Seaside View
Suzanne Herman
2023 / Suzanne Herman
50 pages / 10 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Seaside View is the companion sheet music book to Suzanne Herman's 2023 recording by the same name. The songbook contains all ten piano solos from the album, transcribed by the composer and proof-read by me. The transcriptions are as close to the recorded music as is possible. Inspired by Florida's western coastal area where Suzanne lives, the music is graceful, peaceful and fun to play. The pieces range from an upper-intermediate to an early-advanced playing level and are suitable for any age group. Fingering, phrasing, dynamics and metronome settings are all clearly marked, making this songbook excellent teaching material as well as providing beautiful recital pieces.

A longtime piano teacher as well as an internationally-acclaimed pianist/composer, Suzanne Herman brings a wealth of musical experience as well as life experience to her music, which is expressive, beautiful, a joy to listen to and very satisfying to play. This collection features a couple of pieces with interesting rhythms: "A Starfish Adventure" starts in 5/8 and goes back and forth between that time signature and 3/4; "The Old Pier" has some 32nd note runs. Some pieces go into the deep bass of the piano as well as into the upper octaves - it's good to use all 88 of those keys at least some of the time! There are no reaches of more than an octave. It's an excellent songbook, and I highly recommend it!

A Seaside View songbook is available from Suzanne Herman's website as both a spiral-bound book and as a PDF download. Individual pieces are also available to download. Be sure to check out the recording, too!

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

Path of the Sandpiper - Key of G (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Balcony Oasis - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 4 pages
A Starfish Adventure - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 5 pages
Sandcastle Dreams - Key of E minor (1 sharp)/ A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
The Old Pier - Key of F (1 flat) - 6 1/2 pages
Safety of an Inlet - Key of C# minor (4 sharps) - 4 1/2 pages
Islands Across the Bay - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 4 1/2 pages
Sailing to a Sunset - Key of F minor (4 flats) - 4 1/2 pages
Distant Storms - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 3 pages
Dancing Lights - Key of D (2 sharps) - 5 1/2 pages
November 3, 2023
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