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In honor of Comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2)

The Comet

A Piece for the Beginning Pianist

by Brent Hugh

The Comet is designed for the beginning pianist. It is relatively easy to play, yet it sounds impressive and difficult.

The Comet could be taught to a first year piano student by rote, or it could be learned as a regular piece by second or third year students.

The Comet tells the story of a comet as it starts its life in the coldest outer reaches of the Solar System--the Oort Cloud. Through some accident--perhaps a collision with other debris in the Oort Cloud--the comet is knocked from its distant orbit and begins hurtling towards the sun. As it does, the sun melts some of the comet's frozen core, which streams behind it, creating an impressive tail. Completing its circuit of the sun, the comet heads for the emptiness of space--perhaps never to be seen again.

The music of The Comet is in GIF format. To print the music out, just view the page with your WWW browser, and then print it as you would print any WWW page.

The Comet, Page 1 (HTML format)
The Comet, Page 2 (HTML format)

WWW browsers don't all print the same. You may have difficulty printing the above pages correctly, depending on your exact setup. If you want more control over the printing process (or if you have a text-based browser), you can download the GIF files directly and manipulate and print them with a GIF file viewing utility.

The Comet, Page 1 (GIF format)
The Comet, Page 2 (GIF format)

(Before downloading "The Comet", please the Composer's Comments, which tell why "Space Songs" were written and how to teach/learn them)

When you print out the gif files above, you will have a perfectly serviceable copy of The Comet. You are also welcome to order The Comet directly from our Phenomenal Order Form.
Why would you want to? Well, the text in the GIF files is a little chunky, the print-outs from your printer tend to flip-flop off the music stand, you couldn't get your WWW browser to print exactly way you wanted to, and a nicely printed and folded copy (similar to sheet music you buy at the music store) costs next to nothing . . . that's four pretty good reasons!

I have a series of four Space Songs for beginning pianists:

The Comet
The Music of the Spheres
Asteroid Field
Blast Off!

All four pieces are designed with the same purpose in mind--to explore areas of keyboard musicianship that are not usually covered by beginning music. All are easy to learn, fun to play, and sound a lot harder than they really are. All can be taught be rote to less experienced students, or assigned as regular reading pieces to the more advanced. Asteroid Field and Blast Off! include pre-reading notation, to help beginning pianists learn and remember the music, as well as regular staff notation for more advanced students (and for the teacher!).

Go to The Comet Homepage at NASA.
Go to the Comet Hyakutake Homepage

Questions or comments? Mail me:
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