Mozart: Ah! Vous Dirai-Je Maman (AKA...)

This week has been all about Mozart, one of the greatest composers ever and if you missed any of this week’s posts I encourage you to go back, watch my short video explanations and listen to some music by Mozart on my Spotify playlist. I guarantee that you will enjoy the music selections this week.

Today, I have another fairly famous piano piece by Mozart. While it is a marvelous work, it is famous over 200 years later because we recognize the melody. The French title is “Ah! Vous Dirai-je, Maman,” which in English means, “Oh, Shall I tell you, mommy.” Once you and your kids start listening I promise you will recognize the melody and could even sing along if you are so led. In American culture, we have used this melody for 3 different songs. 

Today, I also want to talk about musical form. Any time we are sharing ideas, telling stories, presenting information it is important to be organized and have a plan for communicating well. Music works the same way. One of the simplest ways to describe form is that a piece of music always has a beginning, a middle, and an end. That holds true to every piece of music but there are many ways in which we organize the musical ideas. “Ah! Vous Dirai-je, Maman,” is a form called Theme and Variation. The way this form organizes musical ideas is the melody is played for the audience, then the composer takes the same melody and creatively changes it in numerous ways. Mozart creates 12 variations. Each is a way to explore different ways the melody might sound with a different accompaniment pattern, set in a different key, a different tempo, etc. The possibilities are limitless. 

So listen with your kids and enjoy this fun piece. Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where today (August 22nd) I’m having a simple giveaway.