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What You Won’t Do For Love Piano Sheet Music What You Won’t Do For Love Piano Sheet Music

Sheet Music

What You Won’t Do For Love Piano Sheet Music

Written by: Rosabella Mabry

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Table of Contents


Sheet music is a fundamental tool for musicians, offering a visual representation of musical notes and symbols. It provides a roadmap for performers to interpret and play a piece of music accurately. Whether you are a pianist or a music enthusiast, sheet music allows you to recreate the magic of your favorite songs.

One popular song that has captivated audiences for decades is “What You Won’t Do For Love.” Originally released by Bobby Caldwell in 1978, this smooth and soulful tune has since become a timeless classic. Its catchy melody and heartfelt lyrics have resonated with listeners across generations.

The beauty of sheet music is that it allows musicians to delve deep into the intricate details of a song. By following the notations on the sheet, pianists can recreate the rhythm, harmony, and dynamics that make “What You Won’t Do For Love” so unforgettable.

In this article, we will explore the various aspects of the “What You Won’t Do For Love” piano sheet music. From its key details to the arrangement and difficulty level, we will provide you with valuable insights to help you master this iconic song on the piano.


About the Song

“What You Won’t Do For Love” is a timeless R&B and soul ballad written by Bobby Caldwell and Alfred Gorrie. It was released as the lead single from Caldwell’s self-titled debut album in 1978, and it quickly gained popularity, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song showcases Caldwell’s smooth and velvety vocals, accompanied by a melodic piano-driven arrangement and soulful instrumentation. Lyrically, “What You Won’t Do For Love” explores the complexities of love and the sacrifices one is willing to make to maintain a relationship.

The song’s introspective and heartfelt lyrics struck a chord with listeners, making it an enduring hit that still resonates with audiences today. Its emotional depth, coupled with Caldwell’s soulful delivery, has made it a staple in the R&B and soul music genres.

Over the years, “What You Won’t Do For Love” has been covered by various artists from different genres, further solidifying its status as a classic. Artists such as Boyz II Men, Go West, and Mary J. Blige have all put their own spin on the song, showcasing its versatility and timeless appeal.

With its captivating melody and poignant lyrics, “What You Won’t Do For Love” remains a beloved song that continues to inspire and move audiences to this day. Its enduring popularity has made it a favorite choice for pianists looking to showcase their musicality and emotional depth.


Key Details

Understanding the key details of a song is essential for accurately interpreting and playing it on the piano. Let’s take a closer look at the key details of “What You Won’t Do For Love” piano sheet music:

  • Key Signature: The original key of the song is Bb major. However, it’s important to note that sheet music is often transposed to different keys to accommodate different vocal ranges or personal preferences. Depending on the sheet music version you have, it may be written in a different key.
  • Time Signature: “What You Won’t Do For Love” is written in 4/4 time, which means there are four beats in a measure and the quarter note receives one beat.
  • Tempo: The tempo of the song is moderate, typically around 80 beats per minute. However, the tempo may vary in different performances, so it’s important to listen to the original recording or the version you’re working with to get a feel for the desired tempo.
  • Chord Progression: The chord progression of the song follows a classic and straightforward structure, consisting of mainly major and minor chords. Common chords used in the song include Bb, F, Gm, Eb, and Cm.
  • Dynamics: Dynamics play an important role in conveying the emotion and intensity of the song. “What You Won’t Do For Love” features dynamic markings such as piano (soft), forte (loud), and crescendo/decrescendo (gradually getting louder or softer).
  • Expression Marks: The sheet music may also include expressive markings such as legato (smooth and connected), staccato (short and detached), and accents, which add nuances and shape to the performance and interpretation of the song.

Understanding these key details will provide you with a solid foundation for playing “What You Won’t Do For Love” on the piano with accuracy and expression. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the sheet music and pay attention to these details to capture the essence of the song.



The arrangement of “What You Won’t Do For Love” piano sheet music can vary depending on the version you are working with. However, the song generally follows a standard structure and incorporates various elements to capture its soulful and melodic qualities.

The piano arrangement often includes the iconic intro, which features a distinctive melodic motif that sets the mood for the song. This intro sets the stage for the smooth and soulful journey that unfolds throughout the piece.

The main body of the arrangement typically showcases a combination of chordal accompaniment and melodic lines within the right hand. This creates a balanced texture that supports the vocals and provides the harmonic foundation for the song.

In some arrangements, there may be sections where the piano takes on a more prominent and soloistic role. This allows the pianist to showcase their skills and add their own artistic interpretation to the performance.

Additionally, the arrangement may incorporate instrumental breaks or interludes, where the piano can explore melodic improvisation or embellishments, adding a personal touch to the overall rendition.

It’s worth noting that the arrangement may differ between beginner, intermediate, and advanced difficulty levels. Beginners may find simplified versions of the song that focus on the basic melody and chords, while advanced pianists may seek arrangements that capture the intricacies and nuances of the original recording.

Regardless of the specific arrangement you choose, the goal is to capture the essence of the song and evoke the same emotions that listeners experience when they hear “What You Won’t Do For Love.”

As you explore different arrangements, take the time to listen to recordings or performances of the song to understand how other musicians have interpreted it. This will help you gain insights into the different approaches and possibilities for your own rendition.

Remember, the interpretation of the arrangement is an opportunity for you to add your own musicality and personalize the performance. So, feel free to experiment and infuse your unique style into the arrangement, while staying true to the soulful and heartfelt essence of “What You Won’t Do For Love.”


Difficulty Level

The difficulty level of playing “What You Won’t Do For Love” on the piano can vary depending on your skill level and the specific arrangement you choose. It’s important to assess the complexity of the sheet music before diving into learning the song.

For beginners, there are simplified versions of the song available that focus primarily on the basic melody and chords. These arrangements are designed to be accessible to those who are still developing their piano skills. If you’re a beginner, look for sheet music that offers simplified notation and straightforward hand positions.

Intermediate pianists who have a solid understanding of music theory and technical skills will find a wider range of sheet music options. These arrangements may incorporate more intricate melodic lines and harmonies, requiring coordination between the hands and a good sense of timing and rhythm.

Advanced pianists will be able to tackle more complex arrangements that capture the nuances and intricacies of the original recording. These arrangements may include advanced techniques such as extended chords, intricate phrasing, and improvisational elements.

It’s important to note that the difficulty level may also depend on your familiarity with the song and your ability to interpret and convey the desired emotions. Even if the technicality of the arrangement is within your skill set, capturing the essence of “What You Won’t Do For Love” requires a level of sensitivity and musicality.

If you’re unsure about the difficulty level of a particular arrangement, consider listening to recordings or watching performances by other pianists. This will give you a better understanding of the level of proficiency required to play the song convincingly.

Remember, it’s always beneficial to challenge yourself and push your boundaries, but it’s equally important to find a balance that allows you to enjoy the process of learning and playing the song. Choose an arrangement that suits your skill level and gradually work on improving your technique and expression.

By selecting an arrangement that matches your abilities, you can ensure an enjoyable learning experience while gradually mastering the beautiful and soulful melodies of “What You Won’t Do For Love” on the piano.


Notation and Sheet Music

The notation of “What You Won’t Do For Love” piano sheet music follows the standard conventions used to represent musical notes, rhythms, and other musical symbols. It provides a visual guide for pianists to interpret and play the song accurately.

Traditionally, sheet music is written using standard staff notation, consisting of horizontal lines representing different pitches and various musical symbols placed on or between these lines. The staff is divided into measures or bars, indicating the grouping of beats.

The sheet music for “What You Won’t Do For Love” will typically include the melody line, written on the treble clef, as well as the accompanying chords, written as chord symbols or above the staff. The chords help pianists understand the harmony of the song and provide a foundation for the improvisation of accompaniment or additional embellishments.

Sheet music may also feature additional markings, such as dynamics, tempo indications, and expression marks, which provide guidance on how to interpret the song musically. These markings guide pianists in shaping the performance and conveying the intended emotions of the piece.

When searching for sheet music for “What You Won’t Do For Love,” it’s important to consider the source and ensure the accuracy and legitimacy of the notation. Reputable music publishers and online platforms dedicated to sheet music are reliable sources for finding accurate and authentic arrangements of the song.

If you prefer a digital format, there are numerous websites and online platforms that offer digital sheet music for download or streaming. These platforms often provide various arrangements tailored to different skill levels and allow you to print the sheet music or access it on digital devices.

As a pianist, it’s essential to become familiar with reading and interpreting sheet music. Practice reading the notation and understanding the various symbols and marking on the sheet music for “What You Won’t Do For Love” to ensure a smooth and accurate performance.

Remember, sheet music serves as a road map for your performance, providing you with the necessary guidance to bring the beautiful melodies of “What You Won’t Do For Love” to life on the piano.


Tips for Playing

Playing “What You Won’t Do For Love” on the piano can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Here are some tips to help you master the piece and add your own musicality to the performance:

  1. Listen to the original recording: Before diving into learning the sheet music, take the time to listen to the original recording of “What You Won’t Do For Love.” Pay attention to the nuances, dynamics, and overall feel of the song. This will help you internalize the essence of the piece and guide your interpretation.
  2. Start with the melody: Begin by learning the main melody of the song. Focus on playing it accurately and capturing the phrasing and dynamics. Understand how the melody interacts with the chord progressions, as this will help you build a strong foundation for the arrangement.
  3. Work on the rhythm and timing: Pay close attention to the rhythm and timing of the song. Practice with a metronome or a backing track to develop a solid sense of timing. Focus on maintaining a steady tempo and strive for a smooth and consistent flow throughout the piece.
  4. Master the chord progressions: Familiarize yourself with the chord progressions used in “What You Won’t Do For Love.” Practice transitioning between chords smoothly and accurately. This will enable you to create a solid harmonic foundation and establish the song’s groove and emotion.
  5. Add your own improvisations: Once you feel comfortable with the basic arrangement, don’t be afraid to add your own personal touch. Experiment with improvisations, chord voicings, and embellishments to make the piece your own. This will allow you to infuse your unique musicality and style into the performance.
  6. Focus on dynamics and expression: “What You Won’t Do For Love” is a song that requires nuance and expression. Pay close attention to the dynamics indicated in the sheet music and experiment with different levels of touch and intensity. This will help you convey the emotional depth of the song and engage the listeners.
  7. Practice slowly and gradually increase the tempo: When practicing, start at a slower tempo to ensure accuracy and precision in your playing. As you become more comfortable with the piece, gradually increase the tempo while maintaining control and musicality.
  8. Record and evaluate your performance: Recording yourself playing “What You Won’t Do For Love” can be a valuable tool for self-assessment. Listen to your recordings and identify areas that need improvement or areas where you can add more dynamics and expression. This will help you refine your interpretation and take your performance to the next level.

Remember, mastering “What You Won’t Do For Love” on the piano requires patience, practice, and a deep connection to the song. Embrace the journey and enjoy the process of bringing this soulful and iconic piece to life through your own interpretation and musicality.


Final Thoughts

“What You Won’t Do For Love” is a timeless masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with its soulful melodies and heartfelt lyrics. As a pianist, learning and playing this song on the piano is a rewarding experience that allows you to connect with its emotional depth and showcase your musicality.

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced pianist, there are arrangements available to suit your skill level. Take the time to explore different versions and find one that resonates with you and aligns with your abilities.

As you embark on your journey to master “What You Won’t Do For Love,” remember to focus on the key details, such as the key signature, time signature, and dynamics. These nuances will help you accurately interpret and convey the soulful essence of the song.

Furthermore, don’t be afraid to add your own artistic flair to the arrangement. Experiment with improvisations, dynamics, and expression to make the piece your own. This will allow you to connect with the song on a deeper level and truly bring it to life.

Practice diligently, but also give yourself space to explore and enjoy the process. Take the time to truly understand and appreciate the beauty and complexity of “What You Won’t Do For Love.” Let the music guide you, and let your passion and love for the piano shine through in your performance.

Remember, sheet music is your guide, but your interpretation and artistic touch will make each rendition unique. Embrace the opportunity to explore and evolve as a pianist, and most importantly, enjoy the journey of playing “What You Won’t Do For Love” on the piano.

With dedication and perseverance, you’ll be able to create a soulful and captivating performance that captures the essence of this iconic song. So, let the music flow from your fingertips and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of “What You Won’t Do For Love.”

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