Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mozart's Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

The Purple Magic class is listening to Mozart's Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle to absorb the genius. One student was sure this song was 30 hours long! It's a good 6 mins. or so :)

As they listen, they are learning the term Variation. They are listening for the staccato variation, the legato variation, the major and minor variations. They are learning the difference in the feel of the meters 3/4 time and 4/4 time and are applying it to their playing!

Mozart was a child prodigy who grew up in the Classical era. He followed the rules for composing music at that time, but made his music much more interesting and fun to listen to than some other composers of the time.

We have been studying classical music and its form for the past 3 years in order to be able compose nice pieces of music beginning next semester!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Picture received from here.
January 27, 1756 - December 5, 1791

More on Twinkle Twinkle:
The Twinkle, Twinkle melody first appeared in a French folk song called "Ah, vous dirai-je Maman" in 1761. That translates to, Oh, shall I tell you, mommy. Nothing to do with stars :)

To get the nursery rhyme that we all know, we combined that folk song from 1761 with Jane Taylor's poem called, "The Star", which was first published in 1806. There are actually 5 verses, with the first two lines repeating in our rhyme to match the melody:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
like a diamond in the sky!

When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark,
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go,
If you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep,
And often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark,
Lights the traveller in the dark,-
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

The Composition:
Mozart was about 5 years old when the folk song came about. 20 years later (1781 or 82) he wrote a piano piece consisting of 12 variations of the melody, which is appropriately titled, Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", K. 265/300e. The numbers mean it was chronologically ordered by Kochel (pronounced Kershel) as the 265th piece Mozart composed.

He composed it for solo piano and consists of 13 sections: The first is the thema, the other sections are Variation I to XII.

More information of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, visit the Wikipedia site here or The Mozart Project here.

-Let's Play Music with Kendra Flake
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