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"Don't Stop Believin'" there's better Glee Music out there!
Glee Season 1: The Music Volume 1 Piano/Voice/Guitar
Member Name: Nar2
Glee Season 1: The Music Volume 1 Piano/Voice/Guitar
Advantages: Contains songs from Season 1, same as Audio CD 1.
Disadvantages: Only the original scores here. No additional glossy pics.
As a musician I have many songbooks I've collected and bought when I was younger, trying out new songs and pop songs by various bands I was listening to at the time. Over the years the standard quality of music notated books and single page type songs for one song alone by an artist has started to phase out for the more expensive, multi instrument part books that most publishers are happy to churn out and to most unsuspecting buyers.
This is exactly what the Glee Season 1 book is all about. In it you'll find the same collection of songs as featured on the audio CD album 1 when it was first launched. The book costs around £19-99 online; I bought mine off Amazon.co.uk for £14-95 though and it does help to shop around even though this book can be hard to source. The instruments that have been scored here are for piano/keyboard, vocals and guitar tab. Of course the moment Glee hit the airwaves, both my pupils and I were increasingly excited about the concept and this book in particular covers songs such as (original artists or those who have recently made these cover songs popular are given in brackets):
1. Don't Stop Believin' (Journey)
2. Can't Fight This Feeling (Reo Speedwagon)
3. Gold Digger (Kanye West)
4. Take A Bow (Rhianna)
5. Bust Your Windows (Jasmine Sullivan)
6. Taking Chances (Celine Dion)
7. Alone (Heart)
8. Maybe This Time ("Cabaret," the Musical)
9. Somebody To Love (Queen)
10. Hate On Me (Jill Scott)
11. No Air (Jordin Sparks)
12. You Keep Me Hangin' On (Avril Lavigne/Kim Wilde/
13. Keep Holding On (Avril Lavigne)
14. Bust A Move (Young MC)
15. Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond)
16. Dancing With Myself (Billy Idol)
17. Defying Gravity ("Wicked," the Musical)
Outwardly the song arrangements are fantastic if all you want are the original versions but some of the instrumental parts are quite tricky, particularly the piano parts. The piano parts in particular are around the ABRSM Grade 6 standard so those who can read confidently in both the right hand and left hand/ treble clef/bass clef will have no problems tacking these songs and the bass clef parts in particular have chords or double notes outwith the harmonies found in the right hand part. You can also use optional guitar tabs if you find you are struggling to keep up with the single notes in the bass line and it is here that all the parts are well spaced out to view whilst lyrics are similarly displayed.
Despite this however, there are some songs in particular that are easy and some that aren't such as "Somebody to Love," which have cross rhythm changes from simple time to compound time and unless you know the song through and through you may well get lost! I find it handy to have the recordings with me whenever I've done some of these songs in classes and it helps to join or link the real life music with the recordings even though sometimes inadvertently you may find that your guitar or piano is out of tune slightly. However if you want this book just for the lyrics there is nothing stopping the buyer from simply looking online for the original lyrics and singing along rather than going out of their way to source this book!
There are further disappointments to come. Because of copy write laws, Wise Publications who produce this book have only included the original versions of the songs by the original artists and not the excellent and rather unique vocal parts that have made "Glee," the popular series that it is. As such you won't get adlibs other than having to improvise or copy what you hear and try to sew it into the original parts of the published music. There are vocal parts available from "Glee," but they're not being sold in the UK from a major stockist, just yet which is hopeless news for any professional musician or choir leader eager to do a "Glee" number with their choir.
Another issue I have with this book isn't the original songs or the instant disappointment that the actual "Glee" vocalisations have not been included. Whenever I've purchased a song book like this in the past, particularly similarly sized A4 books by OUP publishers, you sometimes get a little bit extra such as a pull out poster or a couple of framed glossy merchandise photos included. Well, there is nothing here, no additional pictures of the cast, no central divider of additional illustrative material that could lift the humdrum disappointment. Oh of course you do get the glossy frontage shown by the huge number "1" numerical with the pictures of the Glee cast but Wise Productions have photocopied this registered page in black and white supplying it as the introductory contents page at the start of the book seen the moment the glossy front page is opened. Thereafter there is nothing to suggest that this book or indeed the music within it comes from "Glee," other than the songs that just happened to have been aired in the series.
In all its hard for me to suggest that this book is suitable for all ages and it is hard to recommend it for those who have so far, loved the appeal of "Glee." It looks like a collection of hits that Wise Publications have been rather unwise in putting together other than the glossy yellow appeal of the front and back of this song book. For children who are falling in love with Glee globally and with all of the songs from the audio CD album 1 featured, this is a missed opportunity for amateur to experienced music lovers. The parts should be simplified and there should be at least some vocal content included here that the "Glee" cast have done. Wise Publications have tried to pull a fast one here and as official as it is, the whole idea of "Glee" contained in a music book for several instruments seems to have got lost amidst copywrite and publishing rights. Thanks for reading İNar2 2010
Summary: Pointless promotional music book that doesn't have original Glee choir arrangements.
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