Jade Mountain – Ballad – Intermediate (Grade 4)

Jade Mountain – Ballad – Intermediate (Grade 4)

2.18

Jade Mountain is a waltz ballad piano solo in D major for established intermediate players at about the Grade 4 (ABRSM, AMEB or RCM) standard.

Listen to clip:

Description

Get whisked away by the panoramic sounds of Jade Mountain, a solo piano ballad that will suit intermediate players at the Grade 4 standard (ABRSM, AMEB or RCM).

The sweeping theme of this piece sings above an arpeggio-based accompaniment, which is shared alternately between both hands in an ascending cross-over pattern. This hands crossing motion might take a bit of practice, but it will soon become a flowing and easy motion as each hand continues from where the other one left off.

The sustain pedal plays an essential role in smoothing the rippling accompaniment as well as sustaining the melody. Try practising the crossing hands arpeggios in the introduction to begin with, and then once you are confident with that, try adding in the sustain pedal to 'glue' it all together.

In bar 13, the melody features a lower octave in the right hand. However, this is completely optional if it is too much of a stretch,

In the middle section, the piece broadens to a forte dynamic and introduces a Lydian mode flavour due to the C# in the right hand against the G chord in the accompaniment. This brief tension offers a spine-tingling dissonance, resolving each time back to the B, almost like a passing note. To explore this G Lydian mode, try playing the notes of a D major scale, but starting and ending on a G:

G Lydian Mode

G Lydian Mode (scale of D major)

Finally, after a D.S. al Coda repeat, our ascent of Jade Mountain ends on its characteristic rising arpeggio with a rallentando. We have reached a peaceful vantage point and can now admire the magnificent view. Feel free to let the final notes 'ring' with the sustain pedal depressed, until they fade out into the distance...

The piano sheet music for Jade Mountain comes as a downloadable PDF file, together with three MP3 audio tracks:

  • Full performance recording (with backing track).
  • Play-along backing track.
  • Slow tempo practice backing (60 bpm).

Additional information

Audio Downloads

Performance MP3, Playalong Backing, Slow Tempo Playalong Backing

Features

Sustain pedal

Instrumentation

Solo

Style

Ballad

Tempo

Andante

Time Signature

Simple Triple (e.g. 3/4)

Level

Established Intermediate (Grade 4)

Format

Sheet music

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