Sleepsong for voice, piano, & lead sheet. A Celtic-style piano arrangement imitates Secret Garden's soloist. This beautiful song will motivate your vocalists!
Verse 1 employs a "pedal point" in the left hand (where the bass note doesn't leave the first position - D continues to be the bass note despite the chord changes). This builds tension and expectation, where finally, in verse 2, the bass note changes and feels so satisfying!
The ornate melodic twists match the singer's voice in the following video...
Listen to Secret Garden's soloist, Cathrine Iverson, in this YouTube video put together a few years ago by a fan of The Hobbit.
This song will blow your students away with its sheer beauty... the YouTube contributor has entitled this tribute "My Brother Under the Sun":
This song was written by Brendan Graham and Rolf Lovland, so it is of course UNDER COPYRIGHT. For you newbies, that means I am forbidden from giving it away for free!
The score for both keys consists of 6 pages of vocal & piano, and an additional 3 pages of lead sheet with plain melody.
After verse two comes a lovely melodic line for violin, flute, or other melody instrument. It also employs Celtic style ornaments.
A leadsheet, 3 pages long, is tacked on to the end of the piano/vocal arrangement. As you can see, the melody is quite plain, minus the ornamentation I put in the piano arrangements.
As you can see, these chords are easier for young guitarists, and the melody can be played in 1st position by young fiddlers.
I give this song to both pianists and vocalists.
Recently, I asked a student if showing her the YouTube video with Fili and Kili first made any difference to her wanting to play this piece - she said, emphatically, "Yes!"
Hearing the Celtic-style singing won her heart. The interpretation - or style - of the piece does make a difference.
And that seems to describe the rest of my students too. "I LOVE this song!" is a refrain I always hear about this song... and you know what? I love it too!
Even the non-vocalists can't help singing as they play... and isn't that what music is all about?
Strike while the iron is hot!
Sleepsong really has nothing to do with The Hobbit movies, yet the presence of the song in that moving video on YouTube was a happy association for my music students back when I first introduced it, as many of them were caught up in the ongoing drama of The Hobbit.
Though I haven't said as much to them, I think that they sense intuitively that "SLEEP" is another way of saying "DEATH."
Here is the group that wrote and performed Sleepsong:
The key of Em is just a step higher. While it does make a bit of a difference for the vocalist, it will be so much easier for both guitar and fiddle in Em.
With my vocalists, I have them listen to the singer - in the pre-recorded video, not the live video - and imitate her ornaments, which are quite different than ordinary turns or trills.
Does that seem artificial? I don't think so... It's fun, and is an easy way to learn another style, and broaden one's confidence.
I'm also having them compare the light, Celtic interpretation in these videos with the deeper-voiced, classical style that is on the demo at Sheetmusicplus. The emotional impact is entirely different...
As for my pianists, talk about a motivating song!
Note-reading, broken chords, key signature recognition, rhythm -- it's all there and they ALL work to master this beautiful song.
Verse one features a "pedal point" in the left hand - chords suspended above Bass D over and over again, which makes the fulfillment of the regular bass notes when they come in verse 2 even more satisfying.
Many of my students love adding chords to lead sheets, especially when they can sing along.
Here is another video, just for fun. It is a clip, actually, from the extended version of The Hobbit Part 1 (An Unexpected Adventure), where the dwarf company (and Gandalf and Bilbo) are seated at dinner in Rivendell.
A couple of them begin to grow restless, wearied by the sameness (and tameness) of the pretty music played by the elf musicians.
"Change the tune, why don't you? I feel like I'm in a funeral!" says one, and another asks, "Is someone dying?"
Bofur declares, "All right, lads, there's only one thing for it," and climbs up on the table and begins a rousing song about "An inn, an inn, a merry old inn!" The rest of the dwarves join in lustily, and pretty soon there's a food fight.
This scene is a testament to the power of music! :D
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? I'd love to hear it!
Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...