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Schumann: Melody Op. 68 No. 1 in C Major

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Robert Schumann - Album for the Young :
Melody, Op. 68 No. 1
Melody Op. 68 No. 1  in C Major by Schumann piano sheet music
Key: C Major Year: 1848
Level: 3 Period: Early Romantic
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Instructive - all parts (213 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score (639 kB)
piano music mp3 recording Melody Op. 68 No. 1 - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)

A dedication from a loving father

Schumann composed “Album for the Young” for his three daughters. The imaginative titles in this set will help you give each piece the right atmosphere and character. The very first piece has perhaps one of the least descriptive titles: “Melody”. However, the calm simplicity and innocence of this tune works well as an introduction to the other pieces of the set, which cover a wide range of emotions. One might view it as a tender dedication from Schumann to his daughters.

The melody is accompanied by an Alberti-like pattern in the left hand. Apparently, this was a technique Schumann considered essential for young pianists to master - the same kind of texture reappears several times in the beginning of the set (no. 3, Humming Song, and no. 5, Short Piece)

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Practice & Performance Tips:
Although the left-hand line is written in quavers, make sure that your thumb plays the notes that fall on the off beats softly. In fact, a good practice technique here is to play only the notes that fall on the beats (therefore, you would play mm. 1-2 as follows: C-F-E-C-F-G-E-E). After you memorize this bottom line, try to play the duet, adding your right hand. Try to analyze it. Do the lines move in parallel motion? Or do they move in contrary motion?

Schumann used one dynamic marking only – piano. However, your sound has to really project with a singing tone when performing this lovely piece.  Follow the line contour by growing when the notes go higher and getting softer when the notes come down. Schumann added an interesting marking over the downbeats for the right hand in mm. 5, 6 and 7. Those notes should be played expressively. Make sure that you stress each one a bit more, as if you were climbing a ladder.

Could you sing the lines separately? You will find points in which you will need to breathe. Mark those points on the score and do breathe as you play this nice... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

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