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Reader's Digest: Family Songbook Spiral-bound – July 1, 1981


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Spiral-bound, July 1, 1981
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Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Readers Digest Association (July 1, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895770024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895770028
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
27
4 star
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See all 36 customer reviews
I am enjoying learning to play the old songs in this book.
PA
Kind of weird, But perhaps it is good for someone who is getting those kinds of requests.
PurpleToedGypsy
I know every one of the Readers Digest series provides hours of pleasure.
Catherine P. Kearns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 2000
I didn't know what was in this book because it was shrink-wrapped at Borders but took a chance b/c it was on sale. It is NOT for beginners. I was looking for a book with fun songs for me to play on the piano w/my 2.5 year old daughter, but this is not what we were looking for! It may be what you want though.
Here's the contents: There are 8 categories of songs: Down Memory Lane (Roaring 20s, World War I, Jazz Age), All-Time Broadway Hit Parade (Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter), Great Music from the Movies (Dick Powell, Humphrey Bogart), Swing Years (late 30s and early 40s, Louis Armstrong, Guy Lombardo), Treasury of Operetta & Semi-Classical Hits (Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg), Gaslight Varieties, Greensleeves, and Music to Lift the Spirits (anthems, hymns).
The book says each song has been arranged for piano, guitar and organ. It says the arrangements can be easily adapted to any treble-clef C instrument such as accordion, chromatic harmonica, violin, flute, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, recorder, marimba and xylophone.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Atwood on May 12, 2004
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I quit piano lessons in the eighth grade (the familiar story of the indimidating piano teacher) but I kept playing on my own all through high school and this is the book I played over and over. It has a fantastic overview of many American musical genres of the first half of the 20th century, occasionally dipping slightly back to the late 19th.
The arrangements are fairly easy to play for the intermediate piano player yet they sound deceptively impressive. Guitar chords are also present.
The only reason I didn't give it a five-star rating is that, in keeping with the Reader's Digest tradition, this book is condensed; only the choruses of the songs are present. Having grown up with this book, I had no idea that most of these songs had verses not included here. So if you need the entire song, this book won't help you. But if you want a great, playable overview of American songs from the 20th century, then this book is a good choice.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nanciejeanne TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 1, 2002
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I bought this because I wanted a book that had a lot of the standards. It does. I like to play and sing with my kids (toddlers) and with extended family on different occaisions. I like that it has different holiday songs, ("When Irish Eyes are Smilin'") some patriotic stuff ("America") and plain old songs ("By the light of the Silvery Moon." ) I do wish that the arrangements were a little more difficult...I am not really a great player (one year of lessons in Junior High) but I found myself putting in extra chords and endings. But I am not sophisticated enough to really know what I am doing here, so I have to make it up. Some of the the Gershwin stuff was better, but still cut down. I would call it just beyond beginner. It reminds me of the kind of stuff you hear kids play at piano lessons (year 2). Still, even I am confortable with adding a little here and there, so you can too. OR if you just want to open the page and play a whole new song with few or no mistakes, a novice will like it. Plus it has many songs you would like in an anthology and a nice spiral-like binding--hence the 4 stars above. Overall, a nice book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ernie Dossin on November 23, 2002
This is a great songbook for the indtermediate player. The arrangements are full of wonderful rich harmony chording that is not hard to follow. I love a great deminished 7th chord and this book has it. I own five of the Readers Digest song books and whish I had more. In particular I would suggest "The Treasury of Great Showtunes" from this same series.
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30 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1998
An excellent book. But we love better the (what I think is the original version of it), 'Family Songbook, 137 songs to play and sing' by Tony Fiyalko. We love it better because the arrangements are more complex and exciting - more like what the big bands play, yet not that much harder to play. As the song selection in the two books is almost identical, both are superb. Actually, a couple of the songs are exactly the same arrangment. The worst thing about having both books is the occasional key changes from book to book - it hurts my fingers.
This is a very good book - like all of the Reader Digest song books. It only looses marks because of the direct comparison to Tony Fiyalko's book, which is also available in paperback on Amazon.com.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Richerson on June 16, 2009
I found this book to give to my dad's 85th birthday and the lady was so kind to get it shipped in time for his birthday! I'll do business with her again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Skipper on January 9, 2010
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This book was in much better condition than I expected. No damage at and was really surprised I was able to get it. Have wanted it for years once mine was destroyed by water.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jean L. on November 13, 2009
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The price of this book was good as well as the condition. It has been out of print and I was glad to obtain a copy.
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