Piano Puzzlers by Bruce Adolphe

The Piano Puzzler by Bruce Adolphe

Piano Puzzlers by Bruce Adolphe

Impress your friends at your next party or gathering! Piano Puzzlers gathers together the sheet music to 32 of the best piano puzzlers so that you can be the toast of your next party or gathering. The puzzlers serves as a great icebreaker for any occasion to get the conversation rolling.

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From Bruce:

It is hard for me to believe that it has been 10 years of Piano Puzzlers! I would never have guessed back in 2002 that I would ever write more than just a handful of the puzzlers, but there are now about 400 of them, with more to come. Sometimes I feel as though it will be impossible for me to come up with new ones when I have so many other musical projects piling up on my desk and on my hard drive. But I somehow do manage to write more puzzlers, and I find that they bring me great pleasure.

Sometimes, the best way for me to get started writing a new puzzler is to physically surround myself with sheet music, both songs and piano literature, and flip through the pages rapidly without knowing exactly what I am looking for. Then in hits me, like when you spot an old friend on the street, someone you did not expect to see, and then you realize it is not actually that person — but the similarities are amazing. So it is with a phrase or harmonic progression by Beethoven that suddenly reminds me of a phrase in a Cole Porter song. Sometimes, I get going by setting the same tune four different ways. That makes me feel like I am working on a suite or set of variations rather than writing four unrelated pieces, and it also allows me to explore the harmonic, rhythmic, and intervallic implications of a phrase from various angles. Another inspiration for me to write new puzzlers is that I get to hang out with Fred Child.

Fred Child has become the world’s greatest piano puzzler expert. I can tell you that he gets all of them rather quickly and I can see the "aha!" moments light up his face in the studio, an aspect of the show our listeners don’t get to enjoy. When I fly to St. Paul to record the puzzlers, I always look forward to Fred’s company both on and off the air. When a contestant is puzzled or hesitant, Fred’s hints reveal the depth of his knowledge on musical subjects and also his playfulness and charm. It has been a great pleasure working with Fred for 10 years. And he looks exactly the same on radio today as he did when I first met him.

Happy Puzzling,


From the publisher

Is that a Prokofiev sonata or "Take Me Out to the Ballgame?"

Are you playing "Alouette" or a piece by Schubert?

Composer Bruce Adolphe is regularly featured on APM’s Performance Today, where he perpetrates his fiendishly clever "Piano Puzzlers." He’ll rewrite a popular melody in the style of a great classical composer — then challenge you to guess the tune and the composer. For years, people have been begging for the sheet music. And finally, here it is! This collection presents 32 of Bruce’s "recompositions," printed exactly as he plays them on the radio. Now you can play them at parties, in the classroom, as encores, or just to drive your neighbors crazy!

Table of Contents:

Song In the style of
Hava Nagila    Bach
Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)   Bach
Summertime Bach
My Favorite Things  Bach
Toreador!    Bartok
Cheek to Cheek    Beethoven
I Get a Kick Out of You   Beethoven
It’s All Right With Me  Beethoven
Let My People Go    Beethoven
Some Enchanted Evening Beethoven
Summertime Beethoven
Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)   Bizet
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered    Brahms
Strawberry Fields Forever    Brahms
Ain’t Misbehavin’    Chopin
Jingle Bells  Chopin
Some Enchanted Evening Chopin
Yellow Submarine    Copland
Anything Goes  Debussy
Do Re Mi  Debussy
Trout Blues  Gershwin Bach
Chanukah    Handel
Nowhere Man  Handel
Hey Jude Haydn
Scarborough Fair  Janacek
They Can’t Take that Away from Me   Mozart
London Bridge is Falling Down    Prokofiev
Over the Rainbow   Prokofiev
Take Me Out to the Ballgame Rachmaninoff
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered    Schubert
Ain’t Necessarily So   Stravinsky