This set of varied and accessible pieces was written to introduce students and teachers to the 12-note technique and to compensate for a lack of such works in the teaching repertoire.
Though the technique has been the basis of an enormous amount of music composed since the 1920s, and especially since the Second World War, there are few other sets of educational 12-note music.
Apart from Child's Play most of the available books are generally rather dry, not very appealing and not accessible to children or beginners. This new group of varied works will dispel some myths e.g. that serial music must be dissonant, atonal, unpleasant, humourless, uninteresting and not stimulating to the imagination. The pieces demonstrate that the technique can inspire a composer to produce very musical works that are appealing to students.
Child's Play covers a range of levels from pre-Initial to about grade 6, and includes a trio where a young child can sit at the piano, in between two older students, and play a previously-learnt solo which fits into a new piece (Alone in the Dark Forest, also given as a duet).
The Greedy Row Snake from Child's Play has sold over 23,000 copies since it was published by the AMEB and Allans Music in the Series 12 Pianoforte Grade One exam book.
Please Note: several unauthorised recordings of The Greedy Row Snake have been made available commercially. The composer suggests that all teachers and students use the printed music as their guide or recordings made or authorised by the composer, not unauthorised recordings of unknown accuracy. The composer can, however, highly recommend the recording by Brian Chapman, published by Tonart Productions.
Several pieces from Child's Play are published by Currency Press in Australian Piano Music Vol. 1 & 2, and future volumes, edited by Sally Mays. Volume 1 is in the AMEB's piano syllabus for preliminary and second grades.
12-note row Study Chart
A Lazy Day
The Greedy Row Snake
Reuben's Big Day Out
Homage to Webern
Homage to Schoenberg
Alone in the Dark Forest (trio)
Alone in the Dark Forest (duet)
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