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Songbook Review: Opus 8
Tim Neumark
Cover image of the songbook Opus 8 by Tim Neumark
Opus 8
Tim Neumark
2022 / Neumark Music
56 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Opus 8 songbook is the companion sheet music collection for Tim Neumark's 2022 album by the same name. Twelve of the thirteen pieces from the album are included. (The thirteenth piece on the recording is Tim's orchestrated arrangement of Michele McLaughlin's "Hope" from her 2020 solo piano album, Sketches. The sheet music for that piece is included in Michele's Sketches songbook in its original solo piano form.) Much of the music on this album is an expression of the emotions generated by the Covid epidemic of the past couple of years, so some of the music is very slow, sad and/or pensive. There are also several pieces inspired Tim's love for his family, and they are much warmer and happier, so there is a very nice variety in the music.

The songbook will be available as a spiral-bound printed book, a PDF download, and downloads of individual pieces. Transcribed by John Zechiel, the notation is roomy and easy to read. I did the proof-reading, and the sheet music is as close to the original recordings as possible. None of the pieces are what I consider to be difficult, and I would say most are at an upper-intermediate to early-advanced playing level. There are a few reaches of more than an octave, but those chords can be rolled or shortened as needed to fit the hand. Expression, metronome settings and pedaling are all clearly marked, making these very suitable as teaching pieces. I really enjoyed my time both proof-reading and just sitting down and playing this songbook, so I can very easily recommend it!

The Opus 8 songbook is available on Tim's website. Individual pieces are available on SheetMusicPlus.com. The recording is also reviewed here on MainlyPiano.com.

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

Lockdown - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 5 pages
February Moonlight - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 5 pages
Bows in the Mirror - Key of F (1 flat) - 5 pages
The Ghost - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 4 pages
Non Sequitur - Key of D (2 sharps) - 5 pages
Shining Through - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 7 pages
My Love - Key of D (2 sharps) - 5 pages
Still - Key of C (0 sharps or flats) - 3 pages
Conundrum - Key of E minor (1 sharp) - 4 pages
Yearning - Key of C minor (3 flats) - 3 pages
Escape - Key of G minor (2 flats) - 5 pages
Earth, Paused - Key of Bb (2 flats) - 2 pages
February 10, 2022
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