Family


Download the sheet music (free)

About this piece

This is an original composition by me, inspired by the ups, downs, and occasional dysfunctions of family life. I wrote it over the course of an afternoon, having been unwell for a few weeks and feeling the need to be creative!

Playing tips

If you’d like to play this yourself, see the link above (just under the video) to download the sheet music.

Be a little bit free with your timing and dynamics in this piece. I’ve suggested a significant pause in the music towards the end of the 20th bar, but feel free to linger slightly in other places where you feel it’s necessary. Try keep a reasonable flow going throughout though. In the recording, I feel I rushed the tempo a bit. I recommend holding back, close to 56 bpm (per minim / half note), as indicated.

While you’re playing, pay close attention to the basic rhythm which appears in the top on the first four bars. You’ll find it moves to the middle in the second four bars. After the repeat, you can see a very similar rhythm in the bass. Finally it moves back to the top again for the last few bars. This rhythm is important in tying the piece together as a whole, but shouldn’t be over-emphasised or too rigid.

As the music states, use the sustain pedal at your discretion. I tend to be quite liberal with it! Keep an eye out for the chord changes though, which often happen off-beat. In particular, it’s quite important to sustain as indicated across bar 12, otherwise the harmonic structure falls apart. I’d also recommend using sustain (carefully) on bar 10, even though it’s not indicated, as the second chord can end up a little one-dimensional otherwise.

You’ll undoubtedly notice that the last few bars mimic the first few bars quite closely (giving a kind of modified ternary form). Watch out for the differences though. The E natural in the left-hand in bar 20 (near the big fermata) is vital, but be aware that it’s still an E flat in the right-hand. Lastly, compare the last bar to the 4th bar. Notice that the resolution in the closing cadence is delayed so that it lands comfortably on the down-beat. This gives a rounded and comfortable finish. However, rhythmically it only works in the flow of the piece if you slow down suitably (as indicated by the rit.).

Usage

You’re welcome to use the sheet music and the recording for non-commercial purposes. I just ask that you give me credit, and please let me know if you find it useful.

Commercial rights are reserved, but hopefully arrangements can be made if you’re interested.

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