The truth is, duets are fun!
And when they’re chosen by the National Federation of Music Clubs, you know there’s something special about them. Take a look at these duets, one piano four hands, that are listed in the 2020-2024 NFMC bulletin!
We’ve been asked not to give the exact class levels. For those, please refer to your bulletin:
This post features these amazing piano duets by Red Leaf Pianoworks composers in order of level:
The Titanic Song, Traditional American Arr. by Rebekah Maxner
Jack of Diamonds by June Armstrong
Crescent Moon by Teresa Richert
The Muffin Man Duet Variations Traditional Arr. by Peter Rudzik
Don’t Bug Me! by Beverly Porter
Amaryllis by Susan Griesdale
The Old Stone Church by Martha Hill Duncan
The Titanic Song
Piano Duet, Traditional American Arr. Rebekah Maxner, Early Elementary, Prep A
“It was Sad when that Great Ship Went Down!” This Traditional American camp song is here arranged for two Early Elementary performers. It has an upbeat feel, and the parts are integrated with a fun back-and-forth.
- What makes it easy: The Primo is in easy notation, in the middle of the staff with quarter and half note rhythms, and accidentals.
- The challenge: The Secondo has some added challenges like staccato, legato phrases, the dotted-quarter-eighth rhythm, a little more hands together and has the G Major key signature.
- What makes it fun: Both parts take turns with the tune. Sharps and flats in the Secondo are borrowed from the popular music of Titanic’s era, as well as a bit of walking bass.
Jack of Diamonds
Piano Duet by June Armstrong, Elementary, Prep
Jack of Diamonds is a gentle lyrical piece using the F major pentascale.
- What makes it easy: The hands play one octave apart and do not move position.
- The challenge: Careful counting and entries on the second beat of the bar.
- What makes it beautiful: The simple flow of the music matching the more complex melody of the Secondo part.
Piano Duet by Teresa Richert, Elementary Level 2/3
Here’s an expressive piece combining simple rhythms, a wide range of dynamics, syncopated pedal, and a coordinated ritardando at the end. Both players have the opportunity to play the melody as it switches parts in the middle section.
Crescent Moon is an expressive piece with simple rhythms, wide range of dynamics, syncopated pedal and coordinated ritardando. The melody is featured in both parts.
Crescent Moon is also available as an eSheet!
The Muffin Man Duet Variations
Piano Duet by Peter Rudzik, Early Intermediate, Level 3
Based on a traditional children song with a contemporary twist. It’s a sure crowd pleaser and perfect to close any recital program. Exciting and fun to play. Prerequisite: a sense of humour!
The challenge: Every variation requires a very different expression which can be a challenge for children, however the end result is worth the hard work!
Don’t Bug Me!
Piano Duet by Beverly Porter, Intermediate
This duet lends itself to a bit of drama and fun as both players want to play the primo part.
Other Beverly Porter duets on the NFMC list:
- Snow Blossoms
Piano Duet by Susan Griesdale, Early Advanced, Level 7
Just like the beautiful Amaryllis flower, the music is gently flowing, lyrical and graceful. Ideal for those sensitive players in your studio.
- What makes it easy: Pianistically it falls into the hands easily without any big stretches or leaps and the relaxed Andante tempo makes it very manageable.
- The challenge: The music benefits from a gentle rubato so playing together and adding these tempo adjustments together takes practice.
- What makes it beautiful: The melody and the harmonies are warm and beautiful! Also each player gets a chance to shine with melodic fragments that provide depth and variety to enhance the melody throughout.
Other Susan Griesdale duets on the NFMC list:
- Rhythm Band
- Jester’s Dance
The Old Stone Church
Piano Duet by Martha Hill Duncan, Advanced, Level 9-10
Inspired by a pencil drawing by artist Spencer Hope of the historic St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Kingston, Ontario, THE OLD STONE CHURCH duet brings together the sombre, hopeful and joyful memories with bells, singing and community. My mother, Blanche Owen, grew up in East Texas surrounded by “old time religion” and music…her indomitable spirit and love of singing is honored in the middle song section. ~ MH Duncan
Don’t miss out on these amazing duets for your students! Get them today!
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Video of the Week
Friends of a Feather Madge and Katniss Unequal Duet (Primo Early Intermediate Level 3, Secondo Late Intermediate, Level 6), a beautiful, heartfelt duet for friends to play together. From the print and eBook Madge’s Notebook, A Piano Tribute to The Hunger Games, Early Intermediate to Early Advanced piano, music that is a bright light in a dark world. Or, check out the Friends of a Feather eSheet!