My First Book of Classical Music: 29 Themes by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin and Other Great Composers in Easy Piano Arrangements Paperback – 8 Sep 2000
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29 fun-to-play, pedagogically sound easy piano arrangements include themes from Beethoven's "PathTtique Sonata" and Haydn's "Surprise Symphony" along with such favorites as the Brahms "Hungarian Dance No. 5" Tchaikovsky "Marche Slave" Mussorgsky "Promenad
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Top Customer Reviews
All the italian terms are listed and defined in a preface.
Each piece is preceded by a short paragraph giving a little history of the piece or composer.
There is plenty of space around the staves for your own notes.
Only one piece spans more than two pages (and is the only piece that requires a page to be turned whilst playing), and that is both a slow piece and has "turn" marked in the score to remind players.
Overall an ideal book for beginners, or for sight reading practice by intermediate students.
The only thing missing is an assessment of the difficulty of the pieces (or a list roughly ordered by difficulty as appears in some other volumes of the "My First Book of..." series)
The opening piece is a good example. It's J. S. Bach's famous Minuet from one of the Ana Magdalena notebooks. Normally this is played (and was written) in G Major but in this edition it has been put in C Major. I assume this was done because it was chosen as the opening piece of the book and any new pianist learns C Major first. However, I personally prefer pieces in the key they were written in and there are some other peices that have had similar treatment.
Several of the pieces are incomplete, but they are obviously reductions so I'm not complaining about that. I don't much like how the fingering is given on every single note change in the book. Surely part of learning to sight read is learning to do this yourself. This is assuming you want to use it for this purpose.
The book does have some nice touches though. A list of the Italian phrasing and their meanings/translations is given in the book. Opening paragraphs tell the player a few facts about the piece they are about to play. And the music itself is a very good size with nice clear fonts.
I would really only recommend this to someone in their first year as a pianist. Once you've passed grade 1 maybe put it on the shelf. Adult beginners and intermediate pianists may want to move on to "The Joy of First Classics," instead, which I have found to be a great asset.
In short, I don't think this is a terrible book. I'd really only recommend it to young begginers.
Big Book of Beginner's Piano Classics Dover Publications
All 29 pieces in this one are the exact same in both books (which I found out after buying both :-(
You might as well buy the big one with 83 pieces, as the price is almost the same.
Great book(s) though,for the adult beginning pianoplayer.
If you, like me, can't concentrate on practicing pieces like "Mary had a little Lamb" or pieces that does'nt sound like real music, these are good books.
You actually want to be able to play the pieces, even though the arrangements are somewhat simple, and not just for the practise of it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book for my granddaughter to introduce her to classical music, and encourage her to try to play some of it.Published on 31 Jan. 2014 by emer
Prompt and efficient service. Have just started to re learn the piano in my retirement and it is a good choice to get me started.Published on 15 Feb. 2013 by mrs c j doran
Well, I'm working my way through and it's proving very useful and encouraging to have tunes that I can pick up fairly easliy.Published on 21 Dec. 2012 by wigtowner
This is good for beginners and introduces them to classical music, the arrangements are easy, and well explained so makes the teachers job a breeze!Published on 26 Jan. 2011 by Bigger Buns
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