Sei sulla pagina 1di 34
THE CHOPSTICKS VARIATIONS By Margo Guryan THE CHOPSTICKS VARIATIONS By Margo Guryan Page W CONTENTS, Theme Variation 1 - Round Variation 2 - Andante Variation 3 - Allegretto Variation 4 - Rlymes. Variation 9 - Andantino Variation 6 - Ragtime Variation 7 - Boogie Woogie Variation 8 - INvENTIONETTE Variation 9 - Adagio Variation 10 - Allegro Variation Tl - Barcarole Variation 12 - Walking Variation 13 - Melody Variation 14 - Finale THE STORY OF CHOPSTICKS Chopsticks, as we know it, enigmatically appeared almost simultaneously in London, Hamburg and St. Petersburg in 1877. In London, The Celebrated Chop Waltz was arranged as a duet and solo for the pianoforte by Arthur de Lulli (a pseudonym of Euphemia Allen, the sixteen-year-old sister of Mozart Allen, one of the named publishers). In the same year, Alexander Borodin wrote variations on a similar (but not exact) theme, which was played by his daughter and which he called The Coteletten Polka.’ Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui and Liadov contributed to these variations, which were published in 1877 under the title Paraphrases.* Liszt later added a paraphrase. In the music of the 14th - 16th centuries, a paraphrase was considered to be a melody borrowed from another source and then omamented. In the 19th century, the word “paraphrase” came to refer to a solo work of great virtuosity in which popular melodies, usually from operas, were elaborated upon.” This suggests that the Chopsticks melody ‘was not original in 1877; the creative source is still unknown. On page three of The Celebrated Chop Waltz, the following instruction appears: “This part (primo part of the duet) must be played with both hands turned sideways, the little fingers the lowest, so that the movements of the hands imitate the chopping from which the waltz gets its name.” At some point, it became customary to play Chopsticks with two ‘outstretched forefingers* and is played in this manner by children today. "The Book of World-Famous Music by James Fuld *The Oxford Dictionary of Music by Michael Kennedy °The New Harvard Dictionary of Music - Edited by Don Randel WHERE'S CHOPSTICKS? In most of The Chopsticks Variations, you will be able to clearly spot the theme in either the right or left hand. In several of the variations, the theme is disguised or hidden. The following will help you to find Chopsticks: Variation 1 - ROUND A: RH. followed by L.H. as a round; B: R.H, with L.H. passing tones interspersed; A: LH. followed by R.H. as a round, Variation 2- ANDANTE ‘Theme is in the R.H. throughout. Variation 3 - ALLEGRETTO A: RH, B: LH. A: R.H, - Watch for modulations! Variation 4 - RHYMES A: RIAL, separated into eighth-notes, with nursery rhyme fragments in the LH; B: The “A” pattern continues with rhythm change; A: Repeat, with Chopsticks verbatim (in 4/4) last four measures. Variation 5 - ANDANTINO A: The LH. separates the theme intervals into eighth-notes; B: Continuing in the L.H., the theme can be heard on the first and fourth beats of each measure; Az Repeat. Variation 6 - RAGTIME A: LH,, against countermelody; the harmony is slightly altered going into repeat A section. B: Altemating R.H. and L.H. with short figure inserted; A: Repeat, with L-H. extending intervals for eight measures. Variation 7 - BOOGIE WOOGIE A&B: The RH. plays Chopsticks intervals throughout, altered thythmically and harmonically to suit the style. Variation 8 - INVENTIONETTE, ‘A: This small invention is organized around the Chopsticks intervals. ‘Though hard to hear, the exact notes can be found in each measure. B: The theme, in the L.H., occurs on the first, fourth, fifth and eighth ceighth-note of this section until taken over in the R.H. in imitation. A: Repeat, starting in the L-H. Variation 9- ADAGIO ‘A: LH. plays theme intervals measures; B: LH, thirds inverted to sixths with some harmonic alteration; A: Repeat. eparated and extended over four Variation 10 - ALLEGRO ‘A: Although the second half of the first beat plays the theme notes for the first two measures, the theme is really represented by the Chopsticks intervals. At the fifth measure, the theme appears in the L.H. - essentially verbatim, B: The theme is in the L.H. on the second eighth-note of each eighth-note group. In the second four measures of this section, the R.H. joins the L.H. to play the melody off the beat. Variation 11 - BARCAROLE A: After a two-measure L-H. introduction, the theme appears, albeit hidden almost entirely in the inner voices. It is played with the thumb of each hand and can easily be spotted here. B: The L.H. continues the minor mode, inverting the thirds of the theme ‘melody to sixths. ‘A: The theme is embodied in the whole notes of the RH. B: The R.H. continues with a few pokes from the L.H. A jazz ‘feel’ is intended in this variation. Variation 13 - MELODY A: Based solely on Chopsticks harmonies; B: LH. plays the melody; A: In repeating this section, the melody shifts to the L.H, while Chopsticks echoes softly in the R.H. Variation 14 - FINALE, A: A full return to Chopsticks in the R.H. with rhythmic variation; B: The L.H, crosses over to play the melody; A: Repeat. THE CHOPSTICKS VARIATIONS By MARGO GURYAS THEME To be played (if at all) loudly and without expression Variation 1 - ROLND Allegro con brio Variation 2 - ANDANTE Andante cantabile P legato eaaear aoe a poco rit. T T T 2 Variation 7 - ALLEGRETTO Allegretto ‘mp nf Variation 4 - RHYMES A little stower f : _, Even slower (tullabye) 3 + t A b eG ‘ mp of mp cresc. ‘poco accel, Tempo I Variation 2 - ANDANTINO Andantino quasi rubato a tempo VariATION 6 - RAGTIME "p60 rik 2 LH. LH LH. Slightly slower than beginning i—= |r ee tempo Variation 7 - BOOGIE WOOGIE m5 Nottootast JJ =1 )) ls of Variation 8 - INVENTIONETTE Variation 9 - ADAGIO Adagio con moto 5 . , 2 1 P legato [eet éon pedale Variation 10 - ALLEGRO gradually crese. Variation 11 - BARCAROLE Largo r a Gon pedale Variation 12 - WALKING aq Andante, Jazz teel Od =J 2) on | | Is ah Variation 1% - MELODY atempo a Variation 14 - FINALE Vivace af = p cresc.poco «| poco (P cresc. poco a poco To Codag Ey ae et Fan copa 3 oor f\ mpecresc.