Review: Arabia


You say some Greek philosophers could dazzle their audiences
with their riddles? That does not interest me at all. Bring
more wine instead and play your lute; your changes in tones
remind me of the wind that rushes past and disappears,
just like us.” ~ Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1048–1131

Arabia Etudes-Tableaux, composed by Elena Cobb is a late intermediate-advanced piece perfect for aspiring virtuosos. In the key of Bb Major, Arabia begins “like a prayer” and then builds with majestic sounds and lots of octaves. There is a lot of room for artistry. Lots of opportunities for rubato. Fermata’s and trills fill the air and keeps one anxious to hear what is coming next.

Arabia is a is a modern romantic piece with the Oriental feel.  I felt like I was pulled back in time or visiting another country when playing Arabia. I also thought it would be a perfect piece to hear in a movie. Elena says, “It evokes a fleeting memory of a train journey I took with my parents across the desert as a child.”

You can listen to Arabia here:

Arabia is available as an unlimited reproduction download, currently 20% off and can be purchased here.

Some exciting news to announce! Elena recently announced that Higgledy Piggledy Jazz will be available soon (launch will be in September) on Piano Maestro! I’m so excited! Congrats Elena. If you are not familiar with Higgledy Piggledy Jazz, please visit a past review here, and visit her website here.

Also another congrats goes out to Elena. She is on the cover of the August issue, Piano Bench Magazine!

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Piano Bench is an iOS subscription that is available to view on your iPhone and iPad. Be sure to check out that issue! Elena gave a little hint to keep your eye out for something special over at Piano Teacher Central Facebook group. If you aren’t already a member there, be sure to join. It’s a great group of teachers!

For the month of August, Elena is offering 15% off on all her books. Just use the code PBM15. Click here for her website. Elena has also offered one unlimited reproduction of Arabia to a lucky teacher. Just leave a comment below. Thanks Elena! Deadline to enter is by this Thursday, August 6th, 10:00pm (AZ Mountain Standard).


(All links in this post are in bold)

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25 thoughts on “Review: Arabia

  1. How exciting to see you featured in the August Piano Bench Mag. I have been wanting to try your music and now I will definitely order some. It will add much excitement to the new school year.

  2. I use Higgledy Piggledy Jazz with a young boy who has such love for jazz but very little ability to focus….on anything. But the pieces are color coded and have so many helpful visual cues that the parents bought the corresponding guitar book so their younger son could play with his big brother. That’s a high endorsement!

    • Fantastic observation Beverly – thank you! The colour coded bass is great and it helps to ‘look forward’ to the next bar in the score. Since there are only three colours=three chords, students learn vey fast. All Higgledy Piggledy Jazz books (piano, alto sax, guitar, ukulele, clarinet) in the series are interactive.

  3. What a BEAUTIFUL piece of music! I love the foreign sound…and can just imagine Elena’s train ride across the desert as a young child as I listen to it! I have Higgledy Piggledy and I love it – what an excellent composer you are, Elena! KUDOS!

  4. I learnt about Higgledy Piggledy thanks to the PTC when Elena was so generous and offered a a single license of I ate All the Chocolate. I really liked it and started to listen to the rest of the series. They are so innovative! And Arabia is great flashy solo perfect as an encore or part of a recital. Would like it very much!!! 😀

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