Popular Music Lesson

Für Elise (Beethoven) , Part 4

You must be logged in to comment.

Loading comments

Hello and welcome. I'm Joseph Hoffman, and today we're going to work on learning the B section of Beethoven's "Fur Elise." Just so you are aware, this is Beethoven's full original version of "Fur Elise," which as far as difficulty goes is a level 6, which is for intermediate pianists with a fair amount of experience. If you're looking for something easier, check out my preparatory or level 1 tutorials. Also, if you haven't learned the A section yet, which you could call the "Fur Elise" main theme, please find my level 4 tutorial and that will teach you the A section. Okay, let's get started with learning the B section of Beethoven's "Fur Elise." First, let's talk for a moment about the form of "Fur Elise." The form of a piece is its overall structure usually represented by letters. For example, the form of a hamburger using musical terminology would be A B A. A for the bun on top, B for the patty, then another A for the bun on bottom. The form of "Fur Elise" is A B A C A. the first A section represents the main theme. The A section is what we learned in my other tutorial on the "Fur Elise" main theme. All by itself the A section sounds kind of like a complete piece of music, but it's not, In "Fur Elise", Beethoven tells a long, interesting, musical story with unexpected twists and turns. The A section to me sounds wistful and a bit sad like a memory of someone you miss. But now let's listen to what happens when we get to the end of the A section. Get ready for what we call the transition to the B section. Here's the transition. What kind of emotion does this section communicate to you? To me it sounds like someone who is reliving a memory of a very happy time. Perhaps they spent it with someone they love. Then with these fast notes maybe they start to playfully chase each other around. Everything is joyful and fun, ah, but then the happy memory starts to fade, and now the sadness is returning, and we return to the A section. It's like someone who is trying to hold on to a happy memory, but they just couldn't keep the sadness away. This A section is the same as before except this time without the repeat signs making it shorter. And then things take another unexpected turn when we come to the C section. How would you describe the emotion of this section? What kind of story does it create in your imagination? For me this section sounds like a storm on a dark tragic night. Maybe the person you love is sick or maybe they unexpectedly had to move away and you'll never see them again. Then do you think it gets a little hopeful here perhaps? And then one final surprise to transition back to the A section. What do you think is happening now? Well now you can hear that we're back in the final A section where we'll leave it for now. Let's take a look at the rhythms of the B section, which starts here with the second ending in measure twenty-five. Now if you haven't already, please download and print out your own copy so you can write in the beats which we're going to do together now. Remember that we are in three eight time signature, which means our eighth notes get 1 beat, and these sixteenth notes share a beat. Two sixteenth notes per beat. So this would be 1-& 2 Here's a sixteenth rest so that gets half of beat 2 landing this 16th note on the & of beat 2, and then 3-&, so we have 1-& 2-& 3-&, and and then down here a quarter note gets how many beats in 3/8 time? With an 8 on the bottom, the quarter note gets 2 beats. So we have 1-& 2-&, and you can see that the left hand is kind of keeping the steady pulse for us with these 16th notes. We keep this 1-& 2-& pattern. So here we have 3 &, and then this 32nd note, see that extra beam there? That makes it a 32nd note which actually puts it right in between the & of beat 3 and beat 1. We could call that an ‘a’. 1-& 2-& 3-&-a 1 And that’s going to sound like this: 1-& 2-& 3-&-a 1 Now let's go a little further. So eighth note gets 1 beat. The 1-& eighth note 1 beat, and then here's another 3-&-a 1 3-&-a, that 32 note goes on the ‘a’, 1-&-2-& 3-& one and two and three and Now I'd like you to press pause and see if you can fill in the beats for the entire, no not the entire B section, I want you to go through the end of measure 32, and let's stop there. Okay write in the beats just like I've been doing. If you're not sure just follow along the left hand make sure you're writing it in in exact alignment with the note it corresponds to. So use the left hand as your guide because that's kind of your steady pulse down there. Write in the counts, and do that press pause to do that, then press play and we'll try it together. Okay why don't you check and make sure this is what your music looks like. Of course if it's not green that's okay. Whatever color you chose is fine. Now what I'd like you to do is try tapping the rhythm of the right hand while I play it, and we'll both count the beat out loud together. When you see these little grace notes you're going to ignore those with your tapping right now because when we play them you'll kind of roll through those. So fast it's not really possible to tap them. So here these s ...