Verbs, Book 1

Verbs, Book 1  by New Mexico composer Kathleen Ryan

Verbs is a set of 24 preludes for piano left hand alone. Previews of the music & samples for listening are in the sidebar below.


The 2nd edition of Verbs, with all 24 preludes in one book, is now available. Click here to purchase.

Also, a few copies of Book 1 are still available. Click here to purchase only Book 1.


Verbs is dedicated to pianist Keith Snell, who gave the premiere of Book 1 in November, 2007, in Farmington, New Mexico, at the state conference of the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico.


The individual preludes in Book 1 are:


Wait — “to be in readiness or expectation.” Strong ringing tones. G minor.


Begin — “to come into being.” Hidden, very legato. D dorian.


Crackle — “to make a succession of slight sharp snapping noises; to show liveliness or brilliance.” Quick, primarily staccato and non-legato. A minor.


Weave— “to interlace into a whole; to spin, as a web.” Flowing triplet notes, with the left hand fourth and fifth fingers carrying the melody for much of the piece. The melody is based on a Native American chant. E minor.


Fling — “to throw violently; to throw (oneself) into an activity with abandon & energy.” Fast 16th notes flung across the entire keyboard. A Lydian.


Drift — “to oscillate randomly around a fixed setting.” Dreamy, and not seeming to be where it actually is. C major, after a fashion.


Play — “to move quickly or lightly.” An exuberant song in two verses. F# major.


Accuse — “to charge with a shortcoming or error.” ABA form with introduction and coda. B with a major third and a lowered second (“gypsy” scale).


Push —  “to force one’s way; to urge insistently to do something.” Fast, strong sounds, reminiscent of Prokofiev. C minor.


Forgive — “to renounce anger or resentment against.” Lyrical song built above Alberti bass patterns, moving into an Impressionistic middle section. Ab major.


Zoom — “to rise rapidly; to move rapidly toward or away from.” A slightly ditzy waltz. Eb major.


Close — “to bring to an end; to draw together.” Reprising the strong ringing tones of Wait. Bb major.




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