Tarantella is a virtuosic, spellbinding piece for advanced pianists composed by Stacy Fahrion. The time signature is 6/8, although one of the recurring left hand patterns is in 7/8. In the recording, the piano is deliberately detuned, intensifying the dissonances of the double harmonic major scale by lowering the minor 2nd and minor 6th slightly, and raising the major 3rd and major 7th slightly. The percussion sounds are created by placing a tambourine on the bass strings of the piano. Detuning your piano and tossing a tambourine in it is entirely optional, although the composer encourages it.
October is an intermediate new age piece by Sarah Reaser O’Brien, NCTM. The constantly moving triplet figures in both hands are meant to evoke the swirling motion of colorful autumn leaves blowing about in the breeze. Rather than centering on a traditional melodic line, October allows students to create a mood or effect by experimenting with dynamic inflection and rubato to vary each performance. Dynamic indications in the score are merely suggestions – performers are meant to make this free-flowing piece their own.
Picking Daisies, composed by Travis Lohmann, is a light-hearted and jovial jazz-influenced waltz appropriate for mid-intermediate to advanced pianists, and focuses on such concepts as: cantabile legato lines, syncopated rhythms, dynamic expressivity, left and right hand leaps, triplet passage work and rolled chords. Best suited as a showcase solo, the highlight of this piece is the written-out solo over the chord changes, sure to dazzle the audience. With dexterous phrases, catchy melodic segments, and infectious rhythms, this piece is certain to brighten your day and those nearby!