December 2009

A Special Christmas Present for All V-COM Members

December 16, 2009 13:04


I have not been as active as usual on the site recently, although I have tuned in from time to time to see what is being discussed or reviewed. The advice, insights and often uplifting inspiration I receive from the site is of the greatest value to me. I feel I do not contribute as much as I could, other than the odd and often long-winded blogs that I write. I have been devoting much of my time to composition, which is often more frustrating than rewarding.

I was reading through some of the articles on the Suzuki method, and was struck with the idea of a composition that would be useful to those who love the method and it’s most famous melody: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. The melody itself, as charming and simple as it is, lends itself to a great deal of ideas and musical variations. The history of the French folk song "Ah vous dirai-ja, Maman" is one that is like many histories that accompany folk music as it is subject to changes and interpretations as it is presented to any given era. I recall that I learned my alphabet by using the melody, thus one can see the great educational use that could be applied to the song melody. The original text was far from fostering the love of learning or of learning of good reasoning in childhood. Here is a detailed look at the origin of the song and melody, as well as a basis for many great musical compositions.


  As is wont in a composer, I could not resist the urge to compose a small work on the famous melody, in 12 variations for unaccompanied violin. One can download the work here in a PDF sheet music file, along with a MIDI audio file for aural reference:

(on bottom of web page)

***Please note that the last part of the sound file (the "finale" of the variations) is missing. The original sound file made from the program is gone (I deleted it by mistake on my machine), so I will have to replace it when I get a chance. The sheet music is fine!***

For the sake of individualized pedagogical use, I have left the task of bowing, fingering and dynamics up to the teacher or performer who may enjoy yet another version of one of the most famous melodies ever written. May the Star of Christmas shine (and Twinkle!) upon all of you and your families. Enjoy!

(Please feel free to e-mail me for the files if the above link is troublesome or you have downloading problems)

 Jerald Franklin Archer


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