Snapchats was originally a collection of short piano duets which was published a few years ago. The volume was republished and updated in 2019, with the inclusion of extra duets and piano trios. This new version has proved popular with both children and adult students, and I always enjoy using them in my own sight-reading classes, and when tutoring various piano courses.
Snapchats are intended for students from late beginner standard to approximately Grade 4 (ABRSM level). There are 19 duets (four hands at one keyboard) and 4 trios (six hands at one keyboard) in this volume, and they are short, succinct pieces for those who want to explore the art of ensemble playing or simply improve reading skills.
Broadly minimalist in style, these pieces are between 8 and 16 bars in length and they offer a wide selection of moods from expressive atmospheric works such as Sutra, Andante, Shanti Shanti and Joyful, to up-beat numbers like Quick Chat, Hopscotch, Samsara and Take Three. It was quite a challenge to write very short engaging pieces, but it’s something that I have really enjoyed doing, and this skill proved especially useful last year when I wrote, compiled and edited the three pre-Grade one syllabuses for the London College of Music Examination board.
Students and teachers routinely comment on how much they enjoy the brevity and relative simplicity that these pieces offer. Both duets and trios become progressively more difficult throughout the book. Celebration (one of the simpler duets) is featured in the Debut grade of the new RSL Classical Piano syllabus. You might choose to play Snapchats for fun with friends or perform them in a more formal setting at a music festival or recital, and I hope they offer a special and enjoyable experience.
Snapchats’ publisher 80 Days Publishing was founded by renowned composer Christopher Norton, who publishes many of his own works alongside those of other composers. I’m delighted that Chris has recently recorded the complete Snapchats Duets & Trios volume, playing each part himself, and you can hear the recordings either on the 80 Days Publishing Website, here, or on Chris’ own Soundcloud channel:
Alternatively, you can also hear them on my Soundcloud channel, here.
To find out more and purchase the volume, click here.
Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.
For more information, please visit the publications page, here.