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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.
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.
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.
Many people think that Fur Elise is a very difficult song to learn to play on the piano. In reality, you can learn to play it in a short amount of time when you use the learning tools in Piano Marvel. To see how easy it is to get started, you can create a free Piano Marvel account!
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