Click to enlargeAir in C (piano solo)

The name of this piece comes from the old meaning of Air, that is, a song that shows off the capabilities of the voice. I also chose the word "Air" because of my recent attainment of a commercial pilot's license. While I wrote this piece almost nine years before beginning to work on the private pilot license, it never had a name until I decided to make it available through

People who have heard me play know that I am not an especially accomplished pianist. I do fake it well, but alas, I am not capable of much that I wish I were. None the less, I do get asked to play for things from time to time, and it is nice to have a few pieces one can play that are contemplative and beautiful, but are basically not very hard to play.

This piece is one I wrote just to have in my personal repertoire. While I have never memorized it, I have played it in public a few times, and people seem to find it easy to listen to and at least somewhat thought-provoking.

The melody wraps itself around a couple of simple motifs and then explores the emotional possbilities of a journey through some loosely related keys before returning to C. The arpeggiated left hand drifts from basic romantic to jazz-influenced chords while pushing the melody up to its peak of excitement and then releasing it back to its original contemplative mood.

From a piano teaching standpoint, this piece emphasizes the importance of the left hand as rhythm-keeper and mood-setter, while enforcing a no-look approach to being able to move the left hand easily through a couple of octaves in repeated arpeggios. It is also a good piece for developing basic pedal technique, as well as improving the musical sense of the emotional possbilities of a piece where tempo and dynamics can be varied. Reading accidentals well is also a must.

I had always thought that this piece would work well set for orchestra, and maybe some day I will set myself to the task of arranging it. For now, enjoy it in its original form, as a solo piano piece.

MP3 sound sample: Entire piece (synthesizer/midi).

AIR IN C by Tom Kirkland comes in a PDF file containing five pages in all, four pages of music and the license page, packed into a file of about 1040K. Performance time is around 3:30, but the piece can easily be cut to fit in a shorter span.

The majority of our sheet music pieces use electronically-produced demos on the item pages. We would much prefer to use actual recordings, so if you email us a digital recording or link to an online video and we end up using it as a demo on our site (fully credited), we will send you a coupon code good for US$25 toward your next purchase from our site.

Many of our sheet music licenses state that the purchaser does not have the right to record the work. We have modified our policy on this, and unless the license page states that you must obtain permission from a party other than to record the work, we will allow a small number (less than 50) of copies of an audio or video recording of a live performance to be made and distributed and/or posted to a free web site for viewing/listening, so long as, the composer, arranger, and lyricist are credited.


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Last update: 24 APR 2023