Back in 1812, Beethoven completed his seventh symphony. His works are powerful and this theme from the second movement of the piece is no exception; a mix of hope and tragedy, elation and despair. Beethoven himself considered it one of his best works. We hope you enjoy exploring this two-part arrangement of it on your own or with your students.
Download free scores (Print-friendly PDF format):
Two-part arrangement in C minor (C6 tuning - g, c, e, a)
Two-part arrangement in D minor (D6 tuning - a, d, f#, b)
Listen to (and watch) these two performances of this piece. How are the two performances similar? How are they different?
You'll notice that dynamic markings are not included in the score. Using the above performances as your guide, determine the correct dynamic markings for this theme.
Note that the original key of this piece is A minor. The theme has been transposed to a key that fits comfortably on the ukulele fretboard (that's why it doesn't sound right when you play along with the videos above!).
The marking "Allegretto" means "moderately fast."
Use the fleshy side of the thumb to create a warm, rich tone on every note and/or chord. Pick and strum at the "sweet spot" of the ukulele: where the neck and the body meet.
The piece requires a certain musical and emotional maturity; use your judgement when deciding if this is an appropriate piece for your class.
Use the first line of this arrangement (m. 1-8) as a sight-reading exercise. First, clap the rhythm of Uke I, then play as written at a moderate tempo. Do the same for Uke II.
This is not an arrangement for a beginner-level class. It is a rhythmically challenging theme with many accidentals. Moreover, the piece requires a certain musical and emotional maturity. Use your judgement when deciding if this is an appropriate piece for your class.
Once you've taught your class to play the two-part arrangement as written, challenge your most advanced students to arrange the theme for solo ukulele.
The beautiful melodic line in Uke II m. 17-33 includes both the longest (half note) and the shortest (32nd note) rhythmic values in this arrangement. In order to make the 32nd-note figures sound smooth, use the left-hand third finger to "hammer-on" the second note in each 32nd-note pair:
Enjoy diving into this challenging and rewarding piece!
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