ANNOUNCING! ODE TO JOY by Ludwig van Beethoven now in a Chord/Melody format . . . perfect for entry level soloists
What do we know about “Ode To Joy”? . . . Here’s what we learn from Wikipedia:
Ode to Joy” (German: “An die Freude”, first line: “Freude, schöner Götterfunken”) is an ode written in the summer of 1785 by German poet, playwright and historian Friedrich Schiller and published the following year in Thalia. A slightly revised version appeared in 1808, changing two lines of the first and omitting the last stanza.
It is best known for its use by Ludwig van Beethoven in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony, which does not set the entire poem and reorders some sections (Beethoven’s text is given in that article). Beethoven’s tune (but not Schiller’s words) was adopted as the Anthem of Europe by the Council of Europe in 1972, and subsequently the European Union.
In arranging this piece, I originally did it as a fingerpicking arrangement with flowing 8th note arpeggios. This has always been so popular with young students and entry level instrumentalists that I decided to go back and devise a simply Chord/Melody arrangement. I selected the key of G and it works so nicely on
the ukulele . Here is a small excerpt from my arrangement . Notice the top staff is standard treble clef notation. The bottom staff is in tablature format.
Listen and watch my YouTube performance of this Chord/Melody arrangement of ODE TO JOY
While watching this video, notice that I am constantly trying to hold down the chord as long
as possible while the melody line plays. By its very nature, the ukulele tends to have a very fast decay of sound so we need to help it sustain as much as we can. If we play a chord then
even slightly let up pressure from the strings that will mute the string making our playing choppy. This requires attention to detail. . .It pays off though, as our playing becomes smoother and more elegant.
This is a “classic” chord/melody arrangement which basically established the chord on the first beat of the measure then plays a short melody line then goes to the next chord etc. etc. Once again I can’t overemphasize the need to be patient and learn a measure at a time. Memorize that measure then add another and so forth. This may seem a bit tedious at first but over time we WILL
get to the place where we can “sight read” a line and play it outright. But the keyword is patience oh and daily repetitive practice . .. I once had a piano instructor who told mas a young boy he had the opportunity to meet the composer Bela Bartok. He asked Mr. Bartok for advice and Bartok said PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. May our PRACTICE time be fun. . . may it always be a joy. . . Happy Strumming . . .