“Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” is a French children melody/song which to be popularized by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as soon as he developed “Twelve Variations” based on it. Because it’s composition, several different versions that it have been created using diverse themes and also lyrics.

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The beginning of "Ah! vous dirai-je, maman" is a bit clouted, through an “anonymous” pastoral track being attributed with the melody. The tune dates ago to 1740, if the lyrics included within are reasonably new. In 1761, the melody was first published, when the first publication that the melody an unified with the text goes back to 1774. The printed version to be a component of volume 2 that “Recueil de Romances” through Charles de Lusse. The was published as “La trust naïve” in Brussels.


Musical Overview 

Several songs end the years have been based on this melody, and likewise in numerous languages. In English alone, three renowned children"s track is based upon it - “Alphabet Song,” “Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star,” and “Baa, Baa, black Sheep.” Other prominent versions incorporate “Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann” (Germany), “Hull a pelyhes fehér hó” (Hungary), “Campanita del lugar” (Spain), and “Daha Dün Annemizin” (Turkey).

Twinkle, Twinkle, little Star

The lyrics of this famous lullaby room taken indigenous Jane Taylor’s English poem, “The Star.” in spite of the lyrics having five stanzas, just the an initial stanza is famous worldwide. The city was very first published in 1806 in the book titled “Rhymes for the Nursery.” The earliest publication of the poem, along with music, is in Volume III that the “The singing Master.”

Baa, Baa, black Sheep 

In 1744, this popular rhyme was first published in the pretty Song publication by Tommy Thumb. A. H. Rosewig later integrated the music in “Nursery Songs and Game.” it was published in 1879 in Philadelphia.

The Alphabet Song

The Wolfgang Effect

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart do 12 sport of “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” for piano, somewhere between the time duration of 1781 to 1782. The complete piece comprises 13 sections. The first section of the item is the main theme, through the other twelve sections consisting of the 12 sport (I to XII). The sports “XI” and “XII” room distinct, having actually “tempo indications,” followed by “Adagio” and also “Allegro.”

The beginning of these variations was commonly speculated to be 1778 (April come September) as soon as Mozart was residing in Paris. This was based upon the assumption that the initial melody was French, and it might only have been picked up by the composer while being in France. The item was more renumbered chronologically to “K. 300e” native “K. 265” in Mozart’s composition directory due come this presumption. However, further analysis of the composer’s manuscript of the piece indicated either 1781 or 1782 together the most probable date. In 1785, the sports were first publicly published in Vienna. Some unique features or highlights of every variation is given below:

Variation 1

The melody is performed v the best hand, which is dressed up with running “sixteenth notes.”

Variation 2

Here, the left hand performs the running sixteenth-action, with focus on a surrounding tone. There is a pinch that chromaticism in ~ the end, as the melody is performed v the best hand again.

Variation 3

A brand-new triplet figure is introduced by the appropriate hand while preserving the melody the the theme.

Variation 4 

The left-hand switches location with the right, acquisition over the triplet figure. The right-hand takes treatment of the melody.

Variation 5 

This variant provides syncopated rhythms using both hands. The initial harmonies heard in the template are kept here, albeit until measure “129.” The best hand consequently performs some downward chromaticism.

Variation 6

The right-hand attributes the melody, in chord format, albeit through fast “eighth keep in mind spurts.” A bordering tone is likewise present, moving slowly upwards. Throughout the center part, there are 2 “hand switch” points. The left hand performs the to run “sixteenth notes.”

Variation 7

The best hand has actually a sixteenth note running range pattern, if the melody is played using the left hand.

Variation 8

This variation is gift in “C minor,” a parallel minor come “C major,” the original key. However, there space perceivable constraints present between the right and left hands.

Variation 9 

The melody in each keep in mind of this sport is high solution separated from the others, i.e., a “Staccato.” It practically bears a striking same to the original theme. Every two measures, the left-hand repeats the ideal hand’s phrase, producing an echo effect.

Variation 10

In this variation, the left-hand plays a significant part in the right hand “clef.” The appropriate hand embellishes the melody began by the left hand. The left hand first plays a solitary note, and the right hand proceeds from that, playing a quick pattern of the “sixteenth note” that goes up and earlier down a fourth, respectively.

Variation 11

The tempo that this sports is slow-moving throughout, although the an easy harmonies continue to be the same. However, gift a little lethargic, it is less prominent to a listener’s ears. The appropriate plays the melody (32nd notes) and also offers a “rubato” form free-flowing feel.

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Variation 12 

It provides a an overview of the ahead variations together the tempo bring away off rather nicely, acting as a finale. The left-hand duplicates its actions in sport 2, as the right-hand concentrates on a “decorated melody.” The left hand proceeds playing fast and running notes until the middle, wherein a many trills space involved. After ~ that, both hand play the “sixteenth note.” The final component of the variation closes off through the right-hand playing climbing “sixteenth notes.”

Usage in popular Culture

There space various classic compositions that have actually taken incentive from this tune:

In 1781/1782, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart created “Twelve Variations” based on this French melody. Jean-Baptiste Cardon developed a sports of the melody for harp. The German composer Theodor von Schacht used the melody in his clarinet concerto if crafting the 3rd movement. It was developed on the range “B flat major.” Christian Heinrich Rinck offered the melody to create finale and variations because that organ. That was published in 1828. In 1849, Adolphe Adam supplied the melody to develop Bravura Variations for the opera title “Le toréador.” Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach crafted part variations top top this melody in “G major.” it was lastly published in 1880. In 1883, Franz Liszt offered the melody that “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” while producing Album Leaf. In 1886, the song was quoted in the 12th activity of the tune “The Carnival the the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saëns. In 1914, ernst von Dohnányi made use of the song in the tune titled “Variations on a Nursery Tune, Op. 25.” In 1914, Erwin Schulhoff crafted 10 sports on the French melody. In 1948, Harl McDonald supplied the melody in the second theme of the very first movement of “Children"s Symphony.”In 1962, Xavier Montsalvatge used “Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” in the track titled “Sonatine to water Yvette” in the Allegretto (3rd movement). In 2000, john Corigliano used the melody in the track “The Mannheim Rocket.”

“Ah! vous dirai-je, maman” or “Shall ns tell you, Mother” is a masterpiece top top its own right. The opening tone is bright, arresting, and immediately commands the listener’s attention. What ultimately emerges is a legendary song of great charm, variety, and vibrancy forever etched in the echelons of music history.