Happy Halloween 🎃
Hard Times Come Again No More is a beautiful parlor song written by Stephen Foster. This arrangement can be found in my first volume of easy arrangements.
Here is my arrangement of Star of the County Down. It’s available in my first volume of easy arrangements. I’ve always loved this song since I heard Van Morrison sing this with the Chieftains. Here is a video of it:
This is one of my favorite melodies of all-time, ever, in the history of all of the music I have heard in my 44 years, soon to be 45 years. I first heard this when I came across Nina Simone playing this. What a powerful performance!!
I have made two arrangements of this melody. The one posted above I consider to be a more advanced arrangement. You can find the score/tab here. The other arrangement is an “easy arrangement.” That can be found in my first volume of easy arrangements.
I start this video off with an improvisation before playing my arrangement of a theme from Chopin’s second piano sonata. This particular arrangement comes from my second volume of easy arrangements available at my website.
So what do I think about while I improvise? Short answer is…not much. That’s the ideal–just let the music flow. The arrangement is in A minor so I figured I would improvise in A minor before going into the theme. Every now and then I’ll hit an unexpected note and the challenge is to make it fit. For example, around the 2:24ish mark I hit a C-sharp which I wasn’t planning on. The C-sharp would give the feeling of A major which is something I wasn’t looking to do. After I hit the C-sharp I decided to hit it again and then move down chromatically to the E. That’s the decision I made in the second or two after I hit that C-sharp. Little things like this are what I think about while I am improvising.
In the Hall of the Mountain King is a great piece by Edvard Grieg that comes from the play, Peer Gynt. It’s always tough to make arrangements of orchestral pieces so for this one I follow the main melody in the piece. I included this arrangement in my second volume of easy arrangements. Here is an orchestral version of the piece…