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Tonal Preludes of R. Evan Copley, an overview

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The Tonal preludes are excellent performance and teaching pieces.  Of intermediate technical difficulty, they are suitable for teaching rubato and pedaling technique.

Tonal Prelude #1 is suitable for studying parallel 6ths and 3rds, and for teaching 2 against 3.  It is a great pedagogical piece for developing the technique of finger inter- pedpendence.  Below is a portion of this prelude.

page 1 of prelude 1Suitable for studying intervals of 6ths and 3rds, Tonal Prelude #3 is ingeniously composed by gracefully exchanging melody from treble to bass.  It is valuable literature to teach dynamics to bring out the melodic voice.

page 1 of tonal prelude #3More details about Tonal Preludes Nos. 1-5 can be found here.  

Tonal Prelude #6, in mixed meter, is a waltz like piece that falls into duple and comes back to a triple time unexpectedly throughout.  Highly expressive in the composer's own way, his is a great teaching piece to cultivate your students' musicality.

Detail of tonal prelude #6Fantasy like Tonal Prelude #8 portrays an image of Shenandoah.  The initial up and down melodic contour paints a narrow and uneven valley.  The contrasting middle section carries the well-known melody Shenandoah.  In a homophonic texture, it is accompanied by an ostinato-like figure which depicts the rapidly running river.  More details for Tonal Preludes Nos. 6-10 may be found here.

details of tonal prelude #8Chordal, hymnal like harmonic textures in the A-section of Tonal Prelude #34 present an excellent piece to teach finger legato.  The B-section is reminiscent of the current American folk operatic singing style.

tonal prelude #34 detailsMore details of Tonal Preludes No.s 31-35 may be linked here.

1st page of tonal prelude #36

As suggested by the composer, these pieces are designed so that they may be combined in AB, ABA and other arranagments to form multi-movement works, as the performer is artistically moved to so do.

1st page of tonal prelude 38Featuring a cantabile style,

Tonal Prelude #38 is a song from the American folk opera Willrog, about Will Rogers.  Opening with a fantasy like melody, followed by a sequence of parallel 1st inversion triads, the wide range of melody, dynamic and texture creates a most dramatic effect.

More about Tonal Preludes No.s 36-40 may be found here.

cover art, tonal preludes nos. 36-40

The Tonal Preludes come in four books, each with five preludes.  These books may be purchased individually, or, for a discounted price, as a set of four.  If you want to use these as part of your studio repertoire, sets of four books of each set  may also be purchased at a discount.  We love working with our colleagues - music teachers.  If we have not met you through MTA conferences, please get in touch with us as we have a program for you to help you acquire the music we offer.


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