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Enya's easy piano style and haunting Celtic melodies are a gift to the modern piano soloist. Enya's keyboard texture is easily understood and easy to play, so you can soon pick up her melodies.
This Musicarta Patreon ‘Enya Easy Piano’ page has MIDI support.
You can download the MIDI files and turn them into mini how-to videos by playing them either on the ‘MidiPiano’ virtual keyboard - a small, free, reliable application that's easy to download and use - or the more up-to-date Synthesia.
It's fairly intuitive to use - you play the MIDI file just like you would play an audio file or video. More advanced functions are explained on this Musicarta web page.
A more modern-looking alternative is Synthesia. The basic app is free, but you have to pay to unlock the more useful functions.
Musicarta.com's main mission is to nurture your creative abilities and turn you from a music consumer to a content creator.
Enya’s beguiling melodies and recorded arrangements are ideal for this purpose: if you work through the content of this page, you will have learnt a simple keyboard texture you can use for any chord sequence - your own or someone else’s.
The clues about Enya's ‘easy piano style' you will find on this page, however, are no substitute for the full piano score, which you can easily purchase on the web or at your local sheet music shop.
The audio performances and Musicarta YouTube channel videos are strictly ‘how-to’ quality and no substitute for the CDs as a listening experience, while the MIDI files are bald mechanical versions of score writing programme transcriptions, offered, like the videos, only in order to show how hand placement and chord sequence are related.
We pianists owes a great debt to Enya and her collaborators Nicky and
Roma Ryan for bringing such sweet, playable music into the world. This
web page is a homage to them.
This web page offers an overview of four Enya songs. The links below the audio performances in the table below take you to the relevant sections.
Enya sets up her basic texture by rocking a three-note left hand chord consisting of the root, fifth and octave.
Enya plays these notes up and down, giving a basic four-quaver set which can be moved around anywhere.
(The music and the hand in the photo match up.)
The beauty of this is, both the left hand little finger and thumb play the note named in the chord symbol most of the time, so you can easily play from a chord chart.
The three notes of the Enya left hand texture are easy to find, but, on their own, they sound rather ‘bald’. They lack the ‘sweet’ chord tone – the third. In Enya’s style, the third usually appears in the right hand as the melody note with the first of the four left hand quavers.
The music sketches out a basic performance of No Holly For Miss Quinn.)
But you can’t have melodies using only the third, and from time to time the right hand plays the root - the same note that the left hand thumb needs to play. You have to share the note – and the melody (right hand) has priority, of course.
You can see clearly where this happens if you play the MIDI file of No Holly For Miss Quinn on MidiPiano. Watch the video closely at these points to see how to manage your hands.
It's also indicated in the music above. The left hand middle C has brackets round it, indicating that it's giving way to the right hand, which also wants to use that note.
Watch the video.
The annotated chord chart pdf of the performance is in the folder you've downloaded. Try to follow as you watch the video.
With the chord chart, the explanations on this page, the video and the MidiPiano performance, you only need to pick out the melody - by ear or just copying - to get the solo into your repertoire.
Here's the video.
Very similar in texture to No Holly For Miss Quinn, but the left hand misses out quite a few of the left hand quavers, leaving gaps, usually where the right hand plays.
There's quite a variety of phrase lengths in the piece. Listeners don’t usually register odd phrase lengths consciously (unless you're analyzing the piece – to write the chord sequence down, for exanple!) – but the unnoticed ‘a bit out of the ordinary’ quality keeps the interest up.)
Note that the MIDI performance clips are only for finding the notes and organising the hands – they have no rubato (tempo elasticity) at all, which is central to Enya’s style. Consciously imitate the ‘stretchiness’ of the original CD performances.
Here's the Mister Musicarta YouTube video.
Note the structure: A B A B A B – with the usual extended ending. The left hand texture of each repetition is however slightly different (to keep the interest up); so A1 B1 A2 B2 A3 B3 would be more accurate.
Watch the tricky counting:
The first bar is counted in quavers, the second in crotchets (more correct). Listen out for this rhythm in the performances and practice the counting – it’s hard not to rush the bars where this happens.
('flip') The standard Enya left hand pattern plays the root, fifth and octave (R–5–O) but the hand can easily invert upwards and play the fifth, the octave (= root), and another fifth above that (5–O–5), so:
Musicarta calls this climbing arrangement of roots and fifths a 'ladder', and the four Musicarta Enya arrangements you've been listening to use them as endings.
Pay close attention to the fingering as the hand crawls across the keyboard sireways. Notice the middle finger changes from 2 to 3 in the new fifth-octave-fifth position. If you don’t change the finger, you’ll probably play the wrong middle note here.
Watch the Musicarta Enya easy piano videos here
Download the Enya MIDI files and chord charts here.
Watch the video first.
The key to learning this piece is understanding the handful of left hand patterns used in the accompaniment. Only one of the patterns is used for more than one chord.
For example, for every F chord the left hand plays:
but for the A minor chord, you play:
You can see that in the MidiPiano performance of your MIDI download file.
Here's your final crib sheet, showing the tones used in the six patterns. You need to learn them by heart first, and use the chord chart to help you play the piece.
This Musicarta Enya page aims to show you how to get four lovely Enya songs into your repertoire - but also to demonstrate that a simple keyboard texture can generate lots and lots of wonderful music.
In fact, Musicarta is a keyboard creativity site – not so much about “Play this by so-and-so” as “Listen to this – it’s by ME!”
It’s easy to improvise and compose using the keyboard texture demonstrated in this material – if you’re prepared to make a few mistakes and ‘push on through’!
Now, there's a whole Musicarta digital study pack dedicated to making you the master of this easy piano style...
The Musicarta Easy Piano Style shows you how to get your hands on the keys and start making music right away! With lots of graphics, full audio and MIDI support and all the solos on the Mister Musicarta YouTube MEPS video playlist, you’re sure to get some beautiful pieces into your repertoire quickly – and learn how to find the music in the keyboard for yourself.
Each workbook module demonstrates a different way of developing the basic material. There's always a simple version you can get into you can-do ‘bag of tricks’ while you work on more advanced skills.
All the module studies have performance videos which are collected on the MMYT Musicarta Easy Piano Style MEPS playlist.
As well as these attractive solos, the Musicarta Easy Piano Style (MEPS) package invites you to learn the simple building blocks, then ‘doodle’ them into something all your own.
Make Musicarta your creative keyboard companion and become a composer today! Click through to the MEPS series home page for a closer look at the study course contents.
Here are a couple of Musicarta piano solo performances in the Celtic style which haven't made their way into Publications yet.
Watch the videos - you'll see that they use the Enya root-fifth-octave left hand, but played OVER (literally!) the right hand melody. (You have to keep your right hand quite flat, but it's a nice trick to get and generates a unique instrumental sound.)
Here's a brief overview of some of the other modern piano repertoire available from Musicarta.
If you enjoy playing this style of piano playing, you're sure to enjoy the piano solos in this collection - most of them were composed at the keyboard using the Musicarta Easy Piano Style.
Piano Solos Volume 1 is a collection of eleven solos from across the Musicarta spectrum. Each solo has a couple of pages of notes explaining how the music is put together and offering useful practicing advice. Easy-inter to inter-advanced solos with audio and MIDI files and player and a 50-page PDF (A4/US Letter).
If you're struggling to get That Celtic sound into your composing, it might because much of Enya's music is modal - neither major or minor, but in the pre-classical modes key system.
The modes are known as scales for improvisation – and for generating intriguing chord sequences not available in the conventional major/minor key system. Here is a methodical, ‘lean’ approach to building a sound and productive knowledge of modes for the modern-styles keyboard player, packed with riffs which will expand your chord vocabulary and your repertoire of rhythmic keyboard skills.
Check out the playlists to get acquainted with the modes sound.
Here are two slightly more advanced Musicarta piano solos - featuring Musicarta's signature 'left-hand-over' style.
‘MARIAAN’ Piano Solo
Playing a melody plus its own full, satisfying chord accompaniment is THE benchmark achievement for the modern-styles keyboard player. ‘Mariaan’ builds just such a performance, step by step – and with no-one left behind. Guaranteed to expand your creative horizons every time you sit down to work at it!
Click through to the ‘Mariaan’ YouTube playlist
Now available! 'MARIAAN Lite' Just the music -
no teaching notes, audio or MIDI. Chord Study, Mariaan, Mariaan 2.0, four lead sheets, 28 pages A4.
Chords for Carl vidoe here
'Chords for Carl'
Now a fully video-supported approach to keyboard chord texture and building a full modern solo performance, this unique teach-yourself opportunity shows you only what you need to know and exactly how to learn it.
There's a fun MMYT 'Left hand over style' playlist too!
Check out the 'Learn more' links in the right hand column Musicarta Publications ads for the sample pages of Musicarta's other teach-yourself courses.
Musicarta home study digital downloads offer anyone wanting to learn modern popular keyboard styling THE best opportunity to structure their efforts and maximize their gains.
Just jump right in and get started! You're bound to come away with something - and for less than the cost of a single piano lesson.
Syncopated, two-handed rhythms at the keyboard are not easy, but with the right teacher, everybody can be much better at syncopation than they ever thought possible!
The Musicarta Beat and Rhythm Workbook can be that teacher. With dozens of online audios to copy and desktop coaching videos courtesy of MidiPiano, you can’t fail to make stellar progress.
The MUSICARTA 12-BAR PIANO STYLES WORKBOOK
Twelve-bar is some of the easiest popular music you can make, and its irresistible rhythms and momentum have long made it an acknowledged and much-loved nursery school for keyboard improvisation. The twelve bar chord sequence makes simple soloing effective and attractive while, at an advanced level, blues soloing merges seamlessly into jazz improvisation.
Here are three other Musicarta digital home study packs designed to structure your efforts, maximize your progress at the keyboard and give a boost to your creative music-making.
The PYRAMIDS VARIATIONS
The Musicarta Pyramids Variations aims to exceed expectations by coaching beginners and re-starters to an impressive ‘Concert Performance’ in just eight lessons. After that, you learn a set of variations which model all the contemporary keyboard player’s knowledge and skills.
The Pyramids Variations is another chord shape-based intro to making music from scratch. This time it's Musicarta's 'Basic Music-Making Position' (- two root position triads for the theory-savvy). You learn a graded series of variations on a simple chord sequence right up to an impressive Concert Performance - then go on to explore the creative potential of your achievement in a series of attractive Variations..
The CANON PROJECT
Pachelbel’s Canon in D is perhaps the most famous chord sequence of all time, and the basis of dozens of popular hits. If you can play and understand the Canon chord sequence, there isn’t much in popular music harmony you won’t be able to figure out! Its regular structure also makes it a great springboard for improvising and composition.
The chord sequence of Johann Pachelbel's beautiful Canon in D is virtually the mother of the pop ballad - anyone who can play it and understand the chord sequence is already half-way there. The left hand uses chord tones familiar from Pyramids and MEPS.
Musicarta Key Chords takes a slightly different tack. It builds your chord vocabulary by introducing and drilling the chords you're most likely to find in any key and in any piece of music - and in modern syncopated riffs with full rhythmic build-up exercises.
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