The air is getting crisper, the weather is getting chillier, and the times are getting cosier… For Halloween, our Musicroom contributor BP has rounded up their favourite spooky Halloween music books for piano. For beginner to intermediate level, these books feature the most iconic and chilling songs and soundtracks to celebrate Halloween. From the upbeat Baby Shark, Hotel Transylvania and The Addams Family the Musical to the classic Hitchcock scores and whimsical Kiki’s Delivery Service soundtrack, dive headfirst into Musicroom’s recommended scores. A link is included in each section to the books.
John Thompson’s Easiest Halloween Hits
John Thompson’s timeless approach to teaching has been trusted by generations of teachers to start millions of students on their musical journey. Featuring popular hits for Halloween, one of the latest books in the popular education series includes 15 repertoire pieces to complement the Easiest Piano Course, helping to reinforce basic technique, develop musicality and increase the enjoyment of learning. With music from Little Mix, Disney, Baby Shark, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wizard of Oz, and Hotel Transylvania, your little fingers are only one book away from a spooktacular musical adventure.
Donald Thomson’s Halloween Piano Tunes
Donald Thomson’s Halloween Piano Tunes presents nineteen cheeky wee tunes for endless fun for pianists at the beginning of their musical journey. Fit for pre-grade to level 4 students, each song in the book is presented in order of difficulty. With pieces titled “Midnight Feast,” “The Greedy Goblin,” “Freaky Frogs”, “The Gloomy Forest,” and “Valse Macabre” (a pun referring to Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre!), Donald Thomson’s Halloween Piano Tunes is a chilling but easy repertoire addition to the young player’s music library.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
The beloved 1989 Japanese animated fantasy film by Hayao Miyazaki tells the story of thirteen-year-old witch Kiki and her talking cat, Jiji. Kiki and Jiji have moved to a sea-side town so Kiki can undergo sorcery training. After learning how to fly on her broomstick, Kiki decides to set up a courier service and becomes popular in her new community. One day, however, Kiki starts losing her magic abilities.
A visual coming-of-age story with themes common to adolescence – such as finding a job, seeking acceptance, and building confidence to take care of herself – Miyazaki’s movie was met with critical acclaim, winning the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize. The soaring and touching score by Joe Hisaishi, Miyazaki’s collaborator of nearly 40 years, is available for entry, easy and intermediate levels, making it possible to revisit Kiki’s story at any stage of your life and musical journey.
Music from the Hitchcock Films
Alfred Hitchcock was once so famous he was the only film director whose name appeared on the cinema marquee above the title. He disparaged actors and loathed location shooting since both threatened the precise realisation of the film he had already made in his mind. Yet, in his Hollywood heyday he forged some creative collaborations he truly valued, specifically with composers.
From the start, Hitchcock knew that music was an invaluable aid to any director of suspense movies who wanted to put his audience through the emotional wringer. From Arthur Benjamin’s pivotal cantata in the 1934 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much to Bernard Herrmann’s jagged soundtrack for the landmark shocker Psycho, the music was usually a visceral part of any Hitchcock movie. By the time John Williams scored Hitchcock’s final film Family Plot (1976) a whole generation of moviegoers would always remember their favourite Hitchcock film with, as it were, the soundtrack attached. Here, arranged for piano, are some of the most evocative themes from some of Hitchcock’s most unforgettable films.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who becomes tired of the same old Halloween routine and stumbles upon Christmas Town. Jack decides to take over Christmas, but his well-intentioned efforts lead to chaos and confusion in both the Halloween and Christmas worlds. Danny Elfman not only composed the score but also provided the singing voice for the film’s main character, Jack Skellington.
Combining elements of spooky and whimsical to capture the essence of both Halloween and Christmas, the film’s songs, such as “This Is Halloween,” “What’s This?” and “Oogie Boogie’s Song,” are memorable and have become classics in their own right, contributing significantly to the film’s lasting popularity. Two folios are available from Hal Leonard, one for piano and one for piano, voice and guitar.
The Addams Family
Originally created by cartoonist Charles Addams, the Addams Family’s antics have been adapted into various forms of media over the years, including television series, cartoons, and films. Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1991 film was scored by Marc Shaiman. Quirky and gothic, the score perfectly complements the odd and offbeat nature of the characters and their surroundings.
In addition to the original score, the film also features the iconic theme music from the 1960s television series composed by Vic Mizzy. A cult classic that has continued to captivate audiences with its dark humor and unique charm, the Addams family was once again on our screens with the Netflix adaptation Wednesday, starring Jenna Ortega in the mischievous title role. The Addams Family Musical Comedy continues to tour around the world. The musical score by Andrew Lippa is available for easy piano and piano, voice and guitar.