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Feel free to play Ravel's Bolero now!

Do you know that famous orchestral piece by Ravel called 'Bolero'? It has a really catchy theme which repeats over and over. In fact it is so popular, it is performed roughly every 10 minutes somewhere in the world.

Well you may hear it even more often now because its copyright has lapsed and anyone can play it for free!

It is possibly best known as part of the soundtrack to the 1979 film '10', starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore, and also used as the music to which Torvill and Dean ice-skated at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

I sometimes ask my piano students to listen to recordings of famous pieces of music, for example Bolero, as it gives them a taste of how a piece sounds with a full orchestra, or played as it was originally designed to be played.

When a piano student plays a famous piece, it is often a simplified arrangement - the original arrangement often being too complex for a student to learn until they have studied for many years. Simplified arrangements are still enjoyable though, as they contain the well-known melody, riff and/or rhythm. Also listening to good performances and recordings will make the student more familiar with the composition and hopefully inspire them to progress and become mature musicians themselves!

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