Composers Corner: Rick's Pick Six for Fall!

Fall into beautiful piano solo selections for this colorful season with Rick Robertson's top picks for autumn and Halloween music without an overt Halloween theme.

Composers Corner: Rick's Pick Six for Fall!

Here are my top six picks of my music that work well for performances during this season. I want to “catch up” on Halloween writing, because I taught for 31 years in a church music school, and they didn’t want “spooky Halloween music” for the students, so you can expect more from me in this realm in the future!

“Autumn Song” (Late Beginner)

“Autumn Song” (also available in my songbook Spectrum: Volume 1) is the easiest one listed here. It features a stepwise melody, first in the right hand, then the left, against open fifths in shifting pentascales.

“Black Cat Boogie” (Early Intermediate)

“Black Cat Boogie” is a fun romp in 12-bar blues on the black keys. It calls for a variety of touch and careful balancing of some cluster-like chords, concluding with a black-key glissando.

“Gummy Bear Shuffle” (Intermediate)

“Gummy Bear Shuffle,” is a fun “candy” piece, for those who need a Halloween piece that isn’t spooky or scary. It features some alternating-hand passages that imply some hemiola patterns, uses a familiar stepwise chord progression, and features a left-hand melody in the middle section.

Bonus: this piece is also available as a duet!

“Into the Night” (Intermediate)

“Into The Night” is an impressionistic poem suitable for the sensitive player. It features some “glassy” harmonies, and a plaintive middle section in the upper register of the keyboard.

“Scary Movie” (Early Intermediate)

“Scary Movie” is inspired by the beloved Burgmüller “Ballade,” and features a “spooky” opening and a more lyrical middle section. Left-hand fast passages, crossing over the thumb, and block chords are the main technical opportunities here.

Read more details about this piece in this article!

“Wind Whirls” (Early Intermediate)

“Wind Whirls” is a miniature tone poem that depicts the beauty of fall. Its main technical features are passages divided between the hands, and arpeggio patterns in the right hand over a left-hand melody.

Late addition! “Spooky Ooky” (Intermediate)

Spooky Ooky! is an intermediate level showcase solo. Its staccato, jaunty rhythms, and sudden dynamic shifts make it an excellent spooky Halloween (or un-Halloween) solo.

3 Bonus Picks from my Songbooks:

“Autumn Lament” (Lyric Moments)

This is a soulful piece in sonatina form:

“Mysterious Cavern” (Circle of Friends: Volume Two)

This is a sarabande-style piece that features colorful harmonies and demands careful pedaling:

“Une eglise abandonee,” (Kaleidoscope Volume 3)

An adventurous player will enjoy this study in polyphony that quotes the “Old Hundredth” hymn tune–in three keys at the same time.

The Bonus Picks are available in these songbooks:

👋 How about some more music by Rick Robertson?

Rick Robertson
Written by Rick Robertson
Rick Robertson holds a Bachelor’s degree in music with an emphasis in piano and voice. His finely-crafted piano music is featured on the National Federation of Music Clubs bulletin. In addition to teaching piano and composing, he is an avid record archivist and researcher, specializing in pianists active during the late–nineteenth and early–twentieth century.


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