Learn Fur Elise (A section) on Piano | Piano Marvel

Fur Elise (A section)

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Ludwig van Beethoven
Intermediate - Level 6
Ludwig van Beethoven

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Fur Elise is one of the most recognizable classical songs in the world, and there's a reason why: it's really catchy! If you were to compile a list of the most iconic piano pieces of all time, Fur Elise would certainly be near the top. For many, this work is considered a must-have in any pianist's repertoire. There are so many reasons why every pianist should want to learn Fur Elise on piano.

The piece can be considered a five-part rondo, with the form A-B-A-C-A. The main melody in the key of A minor is captivating but delicate. Though unproven, it is said that this section describes when Beethoven falls for Elise, while the C section describes when he finds she has been engaged to another man.

The A section is followed by a spectacular change in tone in the B Section, which begins in the submediant F Major. It then modulates to the dominant, followed by 32nd-note runs repeating a cadential progression in C major. The passage somewhat resembles a coda, which suggests a longer form. However, Beethoven suddenly returns and lingers on the dominant in A minor, which eventually leads to a second repeat of the A section. We then return to the A section where the melody is repeated. The C section remains in the tonic key and is the most dramatic section of the piece. There are many unifying relationships with the previously played material. This leads to a final repetition of the A section.

Still curious about Fur Elise? Here is a little more context:

Beethoven was 30 years old when he composed this piece in April of 1810. For some perspective, Frederic Chopin was just two months old at the time of this composition. Despite being written in 1810, Fur Elise wasn’t discovered and published until 1867. 40 years after Beethoven had passed away.

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