CLASSICAL GUITAR MAGAZINE REVIEW Feb. 2004
Songs and Dances
for solo guitar
by Nick Chamberlain
Creative Guitar Publications.
This is a set of ten pieces of moderate difficulty with imaginative titles and some pleasantly unusual ideas among them. The music is tonal, and somewhat original in content, so that it doesn't give you that deja vu feeling too often. Calypso Blue, a D major piece full of dancing rhythms opens the set nicely. The odd chord based on intervals of a fourth adds a nice piquancy to it. Of Bygone Days, with its marking of a relaxed swing feel, tells you where this piece is going. Again the lack of the conventional use of the 'tried and trusted that one so often finds only enhances the piece. There is a slightly offbeat Habanera, and a pulsating Rumba before the tempo drops for an expressive Folk Tale, which, almost perversely, doesn't sound too folksy especially in its harmonic content, as if it is the tale that is folksy in style, not the music. There is not enough room to mention every title by name, but suffice it to say that each has a part to play in producing what is essentially a nice set of pieces. The printing is clear and as all the pieces are two pages or less, page turns are not a problem. The technical level of 4-6 in the book makes this set an attractive offering for the player who, while not an absolute beginner, wants to play some friendly music that is a little unusual, but not too much so. Nicely done.
MUSIC TEACHER REVIEW June 2003
Another new addition to the repertoire for grade 4-6, Nick Chamberlain has composed ten original Songs and Dances for solo guitar in various styles including traditional British folk tunes, popular television themes, South American dances and Spanish songs. Presented with clarity, a varied array of right and left-hand techniques will ensure the potential interest in these pieces to many teachers and students with some unusual harmonic twists and turns challenging the ear along the way.