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Newsletter March 2021 (2)

Dear AGMA followers,

We are proud to introduce to you a worldwide renowned composer, pianist and educationalist, Christopher Norton and his Piano Music for Examinations.

His brilliant and captivating jazz style piano pieces will also feature on the repertoire list in the Jazz Piano category of the Around the Globe Piano Music Festival 2021 – 8th International Piano Competition Online.

We hope you will enjoy exploring his many great piano albums!


Composer, arranger, and teacher, Christopher Norton is universally regarded as the leader in his field. Born in 1953, he is a New Zealand born, now Canadian based composer. His long and fruitful association with Boosey & Hawkes has resulted in the world famous Microjazz series, the Preludes for piano, 2 Concert Collections for piano and, with his wife Wendy, 30 Micromusicals. In 2005 he wrote Connections for Piano for the RCM. The series is now owned by Christopher and published by his own company, In 2006 he wrote American Popular Piano for Novus Via Publications.

Christopher is in high demand for his unique and creative presentations, both live and online. He offers sessions ranging from improvisation coaching for private teachers to adjudicating non-competitive piano festivals with literally thousands of student entries; from offering personal, intensive master class sessions at all levels to lectures in advanced composition. Everywhere he goes, his fresh and uplifting approach to music never fails to inspire and enlighten all who attend. In the last 5 years, Christopher has written a series of concert works. A very well received Jazz Piano Sonata, an Italian Suite for 2 Pianos, a Turkish-Anatolian Suite for 2 pianos and an Idaho Suite for solo piano are among the many new publications from 80dayspublishing.

Christopher now lives, with his wife, another published composer, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

About Christopher Norton’s Music for Examination

Christopher Norton’s Microjazzfirst appeared in 1983, and by 1987 two pieces from the series were on the ABRSM syllabus for Grades 3 and 4 – Picnic Piece and Farmyard Blues. Students were amazed to find pieces they could relate to and the books (and all subsequent books) spread like wildfire around the world. Other examination boards also began to include Christopher Norton pieces – Trinity, the AMEB and ANZCA in Australia (whose List D was almost a Norton syllabus), Conservatory Canada and the Royal Conservatory in Canada. In 2020 there are still Norton pieces on every examination syllabus world-wide.

Enchanted Castle (Microjazz Duets Collection 1) Examination board: ABRSM Grade: Initial

Walking Together (Microjazz Collection 1), No Worries, Merry-go-round, Four-wheel Drive, Carol in Canon (Connections 1) Examination boards: Trinity, RCM Grade: 1

Intercity Stomp (Microjazz Collection 2), Half Asleep, Sidewalk Cafe, Toronto Tango, Trumpet Blues, Feelin’ Good, The Highlands (Connections 2) Examination boards: ABRSM, RCM Grade: 2

Kettle Rag (Concert Collection), Boxcar Blues, Moonscape, Scamp (Connections 5) Examination boards: Trinity, RCM Grade: 5

Pop Bossa (Latin Preludes Collection), Fantasy Bossa, Hanging Gardens, Ringing Changes (Connections 7)Examination boards: ABRSM, RCM Grade: 7

Why choose Christopher Norton pieces?

They are hugely varied in style, written down very precisely and highly idiomatic. They also have the distinct advantage of being paired with both backing tracks and midi files and are available on a number of platforms – Superscore, Tido and Nkoda for a start. The lyricalpieces in Christopher Norton’s huge catalogue of compositions encourage beauty of tone, help to develop musical pedalling and encourage legato playing. The styles encompassed – country, folk, Latin, pop, rock and new age – help the student play more beautifully because they know what the piece is supposed to sound like. The rhythmic pieces are often syncopated, with independence of hands to the fore. There is a high likelihood of strict time playing (which the backing tracks really emphasise) and articulation is always written down very precisely and is intended to be followed very closely.


Microjazz Collection, 1 Microjazz Collection 2, Microstyles, Collection, Latin Preludes, Country Preludes, Jazz Preludes, Rock Preludes, Concert Collection, American Popular Piano (Repertoire 1-8)


There are lots of helpful places where you can get a clear idea about the composer’s intentions:


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