A few years ago, I released an EP (mini album) of original Halloween piano solos, with compositions ranging in difficulty from intermediate to advanced level. Since good Halloween piano sheet music is relatively hard to come by (especially intermediate or advanced Halloween piano music!), I've gradually been transcribing all of these pieces and making them available for purchase here.
"Spooky Spectres" is one of my favorites from this collection and perfectly embodies the delightfully spooky spirit of Halloween. If you're looking for a Halloween intermediate piano solo, look no further -- "Spooky Spectres" pulls out all the stops and is a great showcase piece!
"Spooky Spectres" is a delightful Halloween piece that explores a wide range of musicality for the intermediate pianist, including meter changes, tempo changes, LH melody, precise articulations, and more. It combines the best of a full, advanced musical sound with the spooky fun of the Halloween season. A real crowd pleaser, Spooky Spectres is a great piece to perform, teach, and play just for fun!
The Story Behind the Music
When I was writing the music for my Halloween EP, I wanted one of the pieces to be inspired by the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. I thought about the music from the ride and what made it so fantastic. The clever combination of intervals, accidentals, and unique chord progression (in a minor key, of course) makes the Haunted Mansion music distinctly memorable.
I also thought of Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, which I first heard as a child in Disney's animated film "Fantasia". (My love of Disney is has deep roots.) The story behind this music includes evil spirits and restless souls who are summoned from the cemetery for a wild, devilish night before being driven back to their graves.
Lastly, I pondered minor keys in music and how they are used to paint different pictures. While music in a minor key often has a "sad" or "serious" feel, sometimes it can actually feel quite fun and energetic. Furthermore, each minor key has its own character which lends itself to different musical styles.
All of these things together provided me with the inspiration I needed, and "Spooky Spectres" was born.
The setting: At the clang of a mysterious ringing bell, spooky spectres slowly rise from the ground… Before long, the tones of their ghoulish delight can be heard in cacophonous chords and swinging staccato singsong, which gradually compounds and accelerates to supernatural speeds until, with a final clang, the bell calls the spectres back to their resting places.
Teaching Tools in "Spooky Spectres" Piano Solo
For all my compositions and arrangements, I list their "teaching tools" or educational elements so that piano teachers and students may know what they can learn from it. As a teacher I believe the best pieces of music are not only enjoyable to play and listen to, but also teach you something. "Spooky Spectres" is a great example of this!
This spooky Halloween piano music is filled with meter changes and tempo changes that shift and accelerate, providing fun surprises for the intermediate piano player who plays it. Musical styles transition from smooth broken chords in 6/8 to a giocoso swinging march and back, which keeps the pianist and audience on their toes during this Halloween piano solo. Articulations like staccatos and slurs are intentionally placed to enhance the spooky character of the musical phrases.
Strategic pedaling and a wide dynamic range strengthen musicality skills, and the purposeful inclusion of Left Hand treble, Left Hand melody, and accelerando improve fingerwork, especially for pianists who are right hand dominant. (There's always a need to improve left hand performance!)