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Black-Note Bundle

for piano

Year:  2015

Year:  2015

Anna Cannon

Composer:   Anna Cannon

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: First page of movements 1, 2 and 3.

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Black‐Note Bundle is composed of five pieces for piano, each based on the key of Gb Major and using mostly pentatonic melodic shapes. The purpose of these compositions is to alleviate the anxiety many young students have of playing in keys with large numbers of flats or sharps. Each piece has a title that starts with the letter B, and offers the student an opportunity to play in different styles whilst playing in the same key signature. The harmonic structure of each piece is individual, but the same harmonic progressions appear in all pieces in order to shape the students awareness of the "flavours" of G Flat Major. All of the pieces in Black‐Note Bundle are short in length, they use simple rhythmical patterns and strong melodic ideas. They have been composed with the young pianist in mind. Each piece has been dedicated to one of my piano students.

Black‐Note Boogie swings gently along quickly with an engaging melody that repeats up an octave with subtle shifts in harmony. This composition came about from improvising on the black notes with my piano students. The bass plays a boogie bass pattern underneath the charming melody. Black‐Note Boogie is written in ternary form and has a cheeky staccato chord ending.

Black‐Note Ballad has a gentle melody and moderate tempo. This composition also came out of improvising with my piano students. The music is tender, the direction to play "With Strength" does not imply volume, rather assertiveness and courage. The melody has moments of sadness tinged with hope, the aim is to convey the emotions implied in the melody. Like Black‐Note Boogie, Black‐Note Ballad is also in ternary form, but has many melodic variations.

Black‐Note Bossy Nova is a Bossa Nova with attitude. A firm bossa nova bass accompanies the melody. The harmonic progression is simple; Gb, Ebm, Cb and Db. Black‐Note Bossy Nova's form is ternary and the melody has significant variations. A turn‐around section links section A to the repeat of section A with variations. The melody appears in different octaves and there is some variation of rhythm in the bass.

Black‐Note Barn Dance is a lively barn dance in Gb Major. It has a strong motif based on the notes G flat and F at the beginning of the music. The rhythm is dance like and the melody moves between the hands. The melody is repeated in various octaves and varied. The form is ternary and there are two contrasting melodies. There are some physical challenges in this piece, including the articulation, the rhythmic changes and the melody changing hands. The piece has wide contrasts in dynamic, but is always cheerful and fast moving as if spurring the dancers into action.

Black-Note Berceuse (Lullaby): A gentle melody emerges from the left‐hand of the piano, and plays a solitary melody before being joined by the right‐hand. The left‐hand and right‐hand play together creating an echoing, tender melody. The harmony is simple, the rhythms rocking gently with quaver motion. There are two contrasting sections and the piece is in ternary form like the other four pieces. This piece with help the pianist develop a singing tone, if it played with thoughtfulness and care with the correct voicing's. The pedal is to be used throughout the piece, and the harmonic changes should be taken into account. The dynamic moves between pianissimo and mezzo forte, but the music is mostly at a quiet dynamic.

– Anna Cannon

Difficulty note

Suitable for young students

Contents note

  1. Black-Note Boogie
  2. Black-Note Ballad
  3. Black-Note Bossy Nova
  4. Black-Note Barn Dance
  5. Black-Note Berceuse (Lullaby)