Nirvana: "All Apologies" Piano Sheet Music

Explore something on the lighter side of the Alternative Rock realm with Nirvana's quasi-ballad "All Apologies" featuring piano solo arrangements by Jennifer Eklund.

Nirvana: "All Apologies" Piano Sheet Music

About Nirvana:

Nirvana, an influential American rock band formed in 1987, achieved massive success in the early 1990s and played a pivotal role in popularizing alternative rock. Led by Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, the band’s dynamic sound, characterized by quiet verses and heavy choruses, emerged from the Seattle grunge scene. Their breakthrough came with the release of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from the album Nevermind in 1991. Despite a short mainstream career of three years, Nirvana’s impact persists, with their music continuing to influence modern rock culture. Their third studio album, In Utero, was well-received before the band disbanded in 1994 following Cobain’s suicide. Nirvana remains one of the best-selling bands, having sold over 75 million records worldwide, and received numerous awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.

About “All Apologies”:

“All Apologies” is a notable song by Nirvana, written by Kurt Cobain and featured as the closing track on their third and final studio album, In Utero, released in 1993. Initially released as the second single from the album on December 6, 1993, alongside “Rape Me,” it became Nirvana’s final single before Cobain’s tragic death in April 1994. The song, dedicated to Cobain’s wife Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain, carries a sense of peacefulness and happiness, as described by Cobain himself.

The song’s early history involves its creation in 1990, recorded by Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in a studio in Seattle. It was first performed live in 1991 in England. “All Apologies” was recognized for its beautiful melody and marked a departure from Cobain’s usual screaming style. The lyrics, featuring phrases like “aqua seafoam shame,” have been subject to interpretation, with speculations about references to hospitalization and Cobain’s struggles with drug addiction.

Upon release, “All Apologies” achieved commercial success, topping the Modern Rock chart in the U.S. and reaching number 32 on the UK Singles Chart. Despite having no official music video, an MTV Unplugged version of the song was aired as a promotional video. The single received Grammy nominations in 1995 and won a BMI award for being the most played song on American college radio from 1994 to 1995.

Critical reception praised the song’s resigned and weary tone, with accolades for its beautiful melody. It ranked high on various lists of the greatest Nirvana songs and was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s compilation of songs that shaped rock and roll. The song’s legacy continued with appearances in television shows, commercials, and documentaries, solidifying its impact on pop culture.

1. “All Apologies” Intermediate Piano Solo

Key features of the intermediate piano version:

  • In the original key of D-flat major (deal with it!)
  • 6 total pages
  • Run time is approximately 3:30

🧐 Sheet music sneak peek:

2. “All Apologies” Easy Piano Solo

Key features of the easy piano version:

  • Abridged version appropriate for late beginners/early intermediates
  • Transposed to D major
  • 3 total pages
  • Run time is approximately 3:00

🧐 Sheet music sneak peek:

🎹 Looking for more 90s Alternative Rock piano sheet music?

👋 Did I miss one of your favorites? I’m always open to requests so drop me a comment!

Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.


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