Letter - Yiruma

**Letter** is a solo piano composition by the South Korean pianist and composer Yiruma. Known for his emotive and serene music, Yiruma has garnered a global following, in part, due to pieces like "Letter". This composition is an exemplary display of his ability to fuse classical and contemporary elements, making it accessible yet profound. The piece serves as a perfect introduction for those wishing to explore the depth and beauty of modern solo piano music.

History and Release of "Letter"

Yiruma, born Lee Ru-ma, released "Letter" as part of his album "Piano Museum", which was launched in 2002. The album, which features a collection of expressive and lyrical piano pieces, quickly became a favorite among piano enthusiasts. "Letter" in particular resonated with listeners due to its poignant melody and emotional depth. The piece was recorded in a high-quality studio setting, ensuring that every nuance of Yiruma's performance was captured.

The initial response to the album was overwhelmingly positive, with "Letter" standing out as one of the most cherished tracks. Yiruma composed the piece during a prolific period in his career, marked by his exploration of various emotional and musical landscapes. By the time "Letter" was released, Yiruma had already established himself as a significant figure in the contemporary classical music scene.

The composition has been featured in numerous live performances, further cementing its status as a staple in Yiruma's repertoire. Over the years, it has been included in various compilations and collections, both in South Korea and internationally. The enduring popularity of "Letter" speaks to its timeless appeal and the universal emotions it conveys.

Musical Analysis of "Letter"

"Letter" is written in the key of A Major, which is often associated with bright and uplifting emotions. The piece predominantly utilizes a simple yet effective harmonic structure, centered around I, IV, and V chords. This choice of harmony gives the piece a sense of stability and familiarity, making it accessible even to those without a deep understanding of music theory.

The melody of "Letter" is characterized by its lyrical and flowing nature. Yiruma employs a series of ascending and descending phrases that evoke a sense of longing and introspection. The piece makes extensive use of arpeggiated chords, which add to the overall texture and richness of the composition.

Dynamic contrasts play a crucial role in "Letter". Yiruma expertly uses crescendos and decrescendos to convey a wide range of emotions. The piece transitions smoothly between softer, more intimate sections and louder, more expressive passages, creating a dynamic narrative that engages the listener throughout.

Rhythmically, "Letter" is relatively straightforward, with a consistent tempo that allows the listener to fully appreciate the harmonic and melodic elements. The use of syncopation is minimal, which helps maintain the piece's tranquil and reflective mood. Yiruma’s careful attention to phrasing ensures that each note and rest contributes to the overall expressive quality of the piece.

Popularity and Cultural Impact

One of the reasons "Letter" is so popular is its emotional accessibility. The piece has a way of resonating with listeners on a deeply personal level, regardless of their cultural or musical background. Its simplicity and beauty make it a favorite choice for both amateur and professional pianists.

The composition has been featured in various media, including films, television shows, and advertisements. This widespread exposure has helped introduce "Letter" to a broader audience beyond classical music enthusiasts. Its use in emotional and dramatic scenes underscores its ability to convey deep feelings, further increasing its popularity.

Yiruma's global tours and live performances have also played a significant role in popularizing "Letter". Hearing the piece performed live allows listeners to experience the full range of its emotional and musical nuances. The personal connection they feel during these performances often leads them to explore more of Yiruma’s work.

The piece's structure and approachable technique make it a popular choice for piano recitals and student performances. Its emotional depth and relatively simple technical demands make "Letter" an excellent piece for showcasing expressive playing. This has contributed to its popularity within educational settings and among piano teachers.


In conclusion, Yiruma's "Letter" is a remarkable solo piano piece that highlights his ability to create music that is both deeply emotional and accessible. Through its effective harmonic structure, lyrical melody, and dynamic contrasts, the piece captivates listeners and invites them into a reflective state. Its global popularity is a testament to its universal appeal and the profound impact it has had on audiences worldwide.

As a part of Yiruma's acclaimed discography, "Letter" continues to be celebrated by pianists and music lovers alike. Its enduring charm and emotional resonance ensure that it remains a cherished piece in the modern piano repertoire.

Publication date: 30. 05. 2024