Robert Schumann
in C Major, Op. 68 No. 1

Schumann's popular educational masterpiece Album for the Young starts with a simple, lyrical and expressive Melody.

ID: 561
Key: C Major
Year: 1848
Level: 3
Period: Early Romantic
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A dedication

The simplicity and innocence of this Melody is a very fitting introduction to the other pieces of this popular set, picturing a wide range of children's ideas, games and emotions. One might view it as a tender dedication from Schumann to his daughter. As the title suggests, the main interest of the piece is in the right hand cantabile and phrasing. But it's also worth noting the Alberti-like acompaniment pattern. Apparently, this was an 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)


Schumann started composing “Album for the Young” as a birthday album for his eldest daughter Marie. The project grew and ended up as a printed collection of 43 pieces, together with a section of "Advice to young musicians" and a "Short Music History Course". His wife Clara remarked: "The works that the children usually learn in their piano lessons are so bad that Robert lit upon the idea of composing and publishing a book (a kind of album) containing small pieces for children. He has already written a number of charming little pieces." Many of the pieces have remained very popular teaching pieces, such as this Melody in C major.

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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Member's recordings of piece:

Schumann: From the Album for the Young, Melodie Op. 68 No. 1 by iumonito
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Schumann: Melody Op. 68 No. 1 in C Major (published in 1848) . DOWNLOAD piano sheet music from Piano Street digital sheet music library.
Melody in C Major Op. 68 No. 1 by the composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856). This piano piece was composed in 1848 and is part of Schumann's Album for the Young.