12 December 2023
By Ellie Palmer
From classical Christmas carols to jazzified festive classics, there's something for everybody here
1. Play Christmas
Of course, we have to start with our very own Play Christmas.
Our new festive-themed piano book 46 pages of yuletide scores ranging from beginner to advanced, with step-by-step lessons on three of the pieces from our expert teachers - all delivered right to your door.
Beginner pieces include simple arrangements of The Holly and the Ivy and Silent Night, and range all the way up to more advanced pieces like December from The Seasons Op 37a.
This is also the most affordable book on the list!
2. Peaceful Christmas
by Piano Hive
Our friends at Piano Hive published this book back in 2021, and it's been a real hit with our readers since.
The book takes Christmas classics such as We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Oh Holy Night, and completely rearranges them into something a little different.
This book is more suited to the early intermediate player.
3. After Hours Christmas
by Pam Wedgwood
After Hours Christmas contains styles to suit any mood: Away In A Manger as a laid-back jazz waltz, The Angel Gabriel and In Dulci Jubilo as wistful ballads, and even a bossa nova version of Ding! Dong! Merrily On High.
The collection also contains a mix of piano solos and duets for you to enjoy on your own or with friends and family, arranged for the grade 3-5 pianist.
4. 16 Easy Christmas Songs for Solo Piano
by Scott Currier
Scott Currier has created easier arrangements of some tricky Christmas classics. Amazingly, each piece includes THREE versions of the song: A lead version, a beginner version, and an intermediate version. The book also contains performance notes offering tips and advice.
5. The John Rutter Christmas Piano Album
by John Rutter
Designed for pianists at early intermediate level, this collection provides skilful and approachable arrangements of festive favourites such as Angels' Carol and What sweeter music and of the more recent Colours of Christmas and Christ our Emmanuel. The gentle Mary's Lullaby, meanwhile, features a newly written Epilogue, a homage to George Shearing and evoking the style of this celebrated jazz pianist.
6. The Complete Piano Player Christmas
You can't go wrong with this classical Christmas piano book, first published back in 1985!
There are 48 pages of music here, ideal for both early intermediate and late intermediate players. Pieces include Away In A Manger, Merry Christmas Everybody, We Three Kings and plenty more.
7. Christmas Jazz, Rags and Blues: Book 3
by Martha Mier
This jazzy Christmas book looks to be a lot of fun. Be inspired and motivated by the syncopated rhythms and the colourful, rich harmonies of jazz.
There is plenty of detailed articulation, dynamic and pedal markings throughout to help you with your performance.
8. Carol Jazz for Piano
by Christopher Norton
Another entertaining-looking book! This German publication contains five improvised Christmas Carols. Ideal background music for any Christmas gathering.
9. Silent Nights
by Nigel Hess & Classic FM
Nigel Hess has beautifully re-arranged 14 carols, offering a different perspective on Christmas tunes with which everyone will be familiar.
Ideal for both intermediate and advanced players.
10. Jazz on a Winter's Night Part 1 & Part 2
by Nikki Iles
These books certainly deliver. Jazz on a Winter's Night Christmas piano album of stylish, swinging arrangements. Favourite Christmas carols and songs receive the complete jazz treatment, with rhythm, harmony, grooves, and solos all carefully notated.
The expertise of the arranger, a celebrated jazz pianist and composer, guarantees an authentic jazz sound, and a range of styles from Nat King Cole to John Coltrane. While paying homage to American Christmas jazz, the collections also reflects a European tradition, in such time-honoured classics as 'In the bleak mid-winter'.
Part 2 contains more of the same, from swing and stride to boogaloo and calypso.
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