Sailor's Delight - Pat Lewis

Imaginative exploration of block chords, waltz bass, tone clusters, parallel triads, varying registers, phrygian mode, and meter change through a set of simple variations. 


Sailor's Delight - sample page

This set of variations on the tune, "Sailing" (from Music for Piano Bk 1, pg. 31) offers beginning piano students an example of several creative possibilities for varying a theme.

Students can follow the simple instructions to play each variation and then create new ones of their own.

The theme is introduced with a basic block style 1 and V7 harmonization that depicts a "sailboat tied to the dock." Next, the "Sailing" melody is accompanied with a waltz bass, "for more motion as the boat begins to sail." The succeeding variations move through a Sailor's Dance, Ship's Bells, Calm Sea, Stormy Sea, and Homeward Bound. Musical devices students will encounter, include tone clusters, parallel triads, varying registers, the phrygian mode, and a meter change from 3/4 to 4/4.

Technically and musically, these pieces provide good practice in balancing melody and accompaniment. Students may find it helpful to get a sense of the hands playing two different dynamic levels simultaneously, by playing the melody, a few times, while only partially depressing the keys for the accompaniment.

From TEACHING TIPS, by Cynthia Pace
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