Grade 5

Pilling - Philomela

There is a plaintive, lamenting quality in Dorothy Pilling’s Philomela. The legendary character of Philomela was changed by magic into a nightingale, expressed by the singing line in the RH of this piece.

Notice the phrase structure in the supporting LH, the many two-bar phrases require a little stress at the beginning of the first bar with no accent on the first beat of the second bar. Other features to savour include hemiolas (shifts in rhythmic emphasis) and the ravishing harmonies that were influenced by the composer’s love of Debussy’s music.

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Resources & links

  • This piece is available for digital download individually from the ABRSM shop here or in print as part of the Piano Exam Pieces 2023 & 2024 Grade 5 publication here.

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