Thursday, January 21, 2010

Music for the Beginning Pianist

The San Francisco Public Library has many simplified arrangements of piano music for the beginner. These are suitable both for the piano student and for those who want to play for enjoyment.

The majority of these collections are shelved in the musical score section with piano instruction books (Dewey Decimal call number 786.3). Some are also shelved with children's piano music section (Dewey Decimal call number 786.41). Finally there is also section of simplified music in the call number for electronic organs (Dewey Decimal call number 786.92).

Typically these scores include fingerings. They often include chord symbols for musicians who are adept at playing by ear but wish to work on their reading skills. Some collections are simplified to the point of being "five-finger" collections, meaning that the player's hands stay fixed in a single position above the keys throughout the song. Many of these collection use large noteheads to facilitate reading by children. Some collections include an optional duet part, so that an instructor can play along. The electronic organ arrangement are written for the right hand alone and include instructions for pre-programmed chords and rhythms.

Here are lists of recent collections of simplified piano music.

Popular Music

Beginning Boogie & Rags for Piano (Boston Music Co., 2006).

Boogie and Jazz Piano Styles: Easy Big Note Piano Pieces arranged by Debra Wanless (Professional Music Institute, 2007).

Greatest Hits / Frank Sinatra (Hal Leonard, 2006).

Megahits of 2008: 13 Pop, Rock, Country and Dance Music Chartbusters arranged by Jerry Ray (Alfred Pub. Co., 2008).

Motown's Greatest Hits for Organs, Pianos & Electronic Keyboards. (Hal Leonard, 2006).

Movie Favorites (Hal Leonard, 2006).

Pop Super Hits (Hal Leonard, 2006).

Scott The Piano Guy's Favorite Piano Fake Book (Hal Leonard, 2006).

Simply Joplin: 16 of His Ragtime Classics arranged by Mary Sallee (Alfred Pub. Co., 2008).

Classical Music

Beginning Beethoven for Piano (Boston Music Co., 2006).

Beginning Chopin for Piano (Boston Music Co., 2006).

Beginning Mozart for Piano (Boston Music Co., 2006).

Beginning Romantics for Piano (Boston Music Co., 2007).

Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics: 83 Favorite Pieces in Easy Piano Arrangements (Dover Publications, 2008).

My First Book of Bach edited by David Dutkanicz (Dover Publications, 2007).

My First Book of Beethoven edited by David Dutkanicz (Dover Publications, 2006).

World's Greatest Orchestral, Opera & Ballet Themes for Piano: 57 Best-loved Compositions by the Finest Composers (Alfred Pub. Co., 2006).

Other Music

Beginning World Music for Piano (Boston Music Co., 2006).

The Big-Note Hymn Book (Hal Leonard, 2008).
Children's TV Favorites: Themes From 8 Hit Shows (Hal Leonard, 2006).

Contemporary Disney for Organs, Pianos & Electronic Keyboards (Walt Disney Music, 2006).

TV Themes: 9 TV Classics (Hal Leonard, 2006?).

World's Greatest Children's Songs selected and arranged by Dan Fox (Alfred Pub. Co., 2008).

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