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July Free Sheet Music: Of Foreign Lands and People

If you are lucky enough to travel this summer, I hope you get to go somewhere far away and truly different from your own culture. Though I love to travel in the US (I recently returned from a wonderful trip to NYC, Martha's Vineyard -- a beautiful Massachusetts island -- and Boston) I find international travel especially exhilarating and illuminating. I think the most foreign and exotic place I ever visited was Siem Reap in Cambodia, Southeast Asia.

My daughter had recently graduated from college and decided to take a paid internship in Cambodia, working for a company that provides semester abroad experiences to college students. When she first told us she wanted to go to Cambodia, my husband and I were terrified. All we knew about Cambodia was that it was the site of terrible genocide under the Khmer Rouge during our youth. It was not a place we wanted our newly minted graduate to venture to alone!

But she insisted that the program was well organized and that she would be safe, and it was, and she was. But what else could we do but plan a trip to Cambodia to visit her during her winter break?!

It was the most fascinating trip of my life and I am so glad that our daughter's resolve got us there. The temples at Angkor Wat (left) are absolutely incredible, especially Bayon, which I visited on my 55th birthday with its many carved faces and sculptures (pictured above center and right).

I learned so much about this excavated 12th Century city of temples, and marveled at its vast beauty and majesty. The food in Siem Reap was delicious. We didn't try the most challenging street food - piles of fried tarantulas on carts - but the food and drinks in the cafés and restaurants was exquisitely plated, healthy and packed with delightful savory flavors. We loved the Cambodian music we heard and marveled at the textiles, artwork and jewelry available to buy in shops and outdoor night markets.

I learned that sometimes venturing out of our comfort zone brings breathtaking treasures and wonders we can't even begin to imagine.

To celebrate summer travel to exotic destinations, I have arranged Of Foreign Lands and People by Robert Schumann, for early intermediate piano. You might have played the first them of Of Foreign Lands in my Upper Hands Piano Book 2 (p.81) but today I expand the piece to include the second theme so that you now can play the full melody.

I wonder what sorts of travel destinations Schumann imagined when he composed this piece? It's fanciful with both darkness and lightheartedness, and has a dreamy wanderlust quality to it. Does it make you want to explore foreign lands? Or do you prefer armchair travel via books or Youtube videos?

The left hand is complicated and keeps moving, so pay attention to the finguring (or write your own) and practice the left hand slowly to keep your fingering consistent. Remember, my free arrangements are only available for a year, so print today!

Here is the original late intermediate sheet music for Of Foreign Lands and People:

Of Foreign Lands and People - original
Download PDF • 111KB

Do you have foreign travel plans this summer? Leave a comment and tell us where you will be going so that we can imagine going with you! Where is the most exotic place you have visited? What did you love about it?

I hope you enjoy playing Of Foreign Lands and People no matter where you are this summer. If you like my arrangements, check out my Songs of the Seasons songbooks for beginners and The Music Remedy series for late intermediate and advanced pianists at my website: UpperHandsPiano.com. And of course you will also find all my instruction books for older adults (Upper Hands Piano) and young adults and teens (Piano Powered) there. Thanks for your support!

With love and music, Gaili

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