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Mozart: Alla Turca K. 331 in A Minor

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart :
Alla Turca, K. 331
Alla Turca K. 331  in A Minor by Mozart piano sheet music
Key: A Minor Year: -
Level: 7 Period: Classical
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (568 kB)

Battle music for zurna and zil

The "Turkish Rondo" is the last movement of the Sonata in A major, K331.   However, it is quite often heard on its own, and has become one of   Mozart most popular piano pieces. Its joyous, dancelike character and   fast ornamental patterns speak to people of all ages.

The   army music of the 17th century Ottoman Turkish Empire was something   that inspired several Western composers, not only Mozart but also Haydn,   Beethoven, Jean- Baptiste Lully and others. In the west, this was often   called Janissary music, after the elite troups of the Sultan, the yeniçeri. Common instruments in a Janissary band were the zurna (a very loud, oboe-like double-reed), a boru (a trumpet), the nakkare (small kettledrums), the davul (a large bass drum), and the zil (cymbals);   loud percussion and piercing wind instruments, designed to be heard on   the battlefield. In Mozart's time, when imitating this kind of music at   the keyboard, it was not unusual to make use of a so called Turkish   stop, a pedal that caused a bell to ring and/or a padded hammer to   strike the soundboard in imitation of a bass drum.

Illustration of the Janissary music on YouTube

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Practice & Performance Tips:
Don't feel forced to play this movement extremely fast, even if that is what you hear in several recordings. After all, the tempo marking is Allegretto, not Allegro or Presto. Keep a steady pulse throughout; remember that the music is supposed to suggest a marching military band!

Play clearly and lightly in the sections marked piano (eighth-notes staccato), and save the heavier touch as well as the right pedal for the octave sections and the coda. The right hand chords in bars 97, 98, 103,104,116 and 117 should be... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

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