While Beyer's widely distributed method distinguished itself by a more realistic pacing of material, it was nevertheless dominated by exercises or etudes. Wieck did not completely eschew the use of exercises. However, his parody, "Frau Grund and Four Lessons," condemned the teacher who would prescribe "daily two hours of scales in all major and minor keys, in unison, thirds and sixths, and then daily three to four hours of etudes by Clementi, Cramer and Moscheles. It is clear that their concerns extended to the poor quality of music for children and amateurs. Like Wieck, Schumann believed that musical excellence depended upon a proper foundation built from childhood.
In , he reflected regretfully to Clara on the poverty of his own early musical education: "If I had grown up in a similar situation to Mendelssohn, dedicated from childhood to music, I would have become you and perhaps surpassed you—I feel that because of the energy of my inventions.
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Spiritual like bodily nourishment must be simple and solid. After all, "The laws of morality are also those of art. The oldest children, Marie and Elise, were in the beginning stages of piano lessons. Clara Schumann noted on 1 September , the date of Marie's seventh birthday, that "pieces children usually study in piano lessons are so poor that it occurred to Robert to compose and publish a volume a kind of album consisting entirely of children's pieces.
Recognition of childhood as a separate developmental phase had spawned profitable cottage industries in the production of children's toys, clothing, furniture, calendars, songs, and books.
Schumann also drew up a lengthy list of "House Rules and Maxims for Young Musicians," aphorisms that articulated his aesthetic philosophies and that exhorted his youthful admirers to put virtuosity at the service of artistry. By inserting the "House Rules" and margin drawings between the musical selections, he hoped to create a poetically unified "musical domestic album" incorporating music, text, and illustrations.
The final format consisted of 43 titled character pieces 43 divided into two sections. The lists of "musical house rules" and the compositions of other composers were eliminated. Personalized titles, such as the original title of the third piece, "Lullaby for Ludwig," were generalized. The idea of offering the work for sale as a Christmas album was also abandoned, presumably to generate a broader market appeal.
For financial reasons, Schumann was also forced to give up on the idea of having individual illustrations for each of the pieces.
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However, he managed to persuade the famous illustrator of children's books, Ludwig Richter, to draw the title page in exchange for twenty-four hours of composition instruction for Richter's son. Richter went to the Schumann home where he heard a complete performance of op. He subsequently drew vignettes depicting ten of the pieces.
A seasonal theme was suggested by the placement of four larger vignettes at the corners. At the upper left was the picture for "Spring Song," showing a mother with her children gathering flowers. The upper right depicted the "Harvest Song.
The illustrations on the left depicted three girls dancing in a circle "Round" , a farmer with his little son "Happy Farmer" , and a crying child mourning a bird lying dead before an open cage "First Sorrow". On the right were a tightrope walker dancing on the ropes "Mignon" , an old man with a heavy sack "Knecht Ruprecht" , and a child on a hobby horse "Wild Rider". The extraordinary beauty and complexity of the design with its cherubs, bountiful wreaths, Gothic arches, and curling tendrils of leaves and flowers, showed how powerfully Richter was affected by these small but intensely poetic works.
In a letter to his friend Carl Reinecke, Schumann claimed he had never been happier than when composing these pieces, but he distinguished them from his earlier cycle, the op. The vigorous sforzandi in "Wild Rider" were meant to recreate the breakneck ride of a child on a hobbyhorse, knocking recklessly against the legs of chairs and tables. Eugenie Schumann recalled that her mother outlined the following program for the piece: the wanderer was depressed at the thought of leaving home m.
As to the three untitled pieces headed only by three stars numbers 21, 26, and 30 , Clara said that Robert "might have meant the thoughts of parents about their children. Other works in the Album recalled scenes from everyday life or familiar characters from folklore or literature. According to Clara, the program for "Hunting Song" began with the resonating sound of horns blowing mm.
In "Knecht Ruprecht," the character from German legend who scolds naughty children at Christmas time was heard stomping up the stairs, his staff knocking sharply on each step mm.
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The following section depicted the trembling of the children mm. Other pieces recreated rustic scenes of peasants singing. The first part of the "Happy Farmer" depicted the farmer singing alone, joined at measure 6 by the soprano of his little son. The second part depicted a girl singing solo m.
The two pieces of "Wintertime" memorialized Biedermeier family life. Schumann recreated a scenario of forests and city streets completely covered with snow counterpointed against a cheery room where grandparents and children were gathered round. Finally, from Schumann's Protestant heritage were two harmonizations of "Freue dich, o meine Seele. In writing op.
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By , however, Schumann seemed to have resolved any conflicting feelings about using descriptive titles for musical compositions. He wrote that "[t]itles for pieces of music, since they again have come into favor in our day, have been censured here and there, and it has been said that 'good music needs no sign-post.
Schumann: Album for the Young, Op. 68, arr. Karttunen / Zebra Trio
If the poet is licensed to explain the whole meaning of his poem by its title, why may not the composer do likewise? The commercial success of Schumann's enterprise was immediate, widespread, and unprecedented for its time. A press release of more than copies was uncommon in the nineteenth century, yet Schuberth, the publisher of the Album , planned an initial printing of copies which he doubled to a few months later.
Schumann wrote to his friend Franz Brendel in September that "the Jugendalbum has found a market like few if any works of recent years—I hear this from the publisher himself. By the end of the nineteenth century, Schumann's op. Isabel Eicker's exhaustive survey of nineteenth-century albums of children's pieces showed that the number of new publications per year, averaged in ten-year periods, immediately increased after the publication of the Album , from 2 per year in the s to 15 per year by the turn of the century.
Scharwenka even headed one of his pieces with three stars. There were innumerable instances of correlation in the subject matter, titling, and musical characteristics of the individual pieces. Also influential on composers was Schumann's idealized formulation of childhood, a formulation however that had been developed in contemporary collections of children's stories and poems.
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Pieces often focused on specific family members and friends; holidays, seasons, and festivals; children's games, pets, and toys; rustic activity; fairy and folk tales; national dances and songs; the world of nature; and church hymns. The edifying presence of Protestant chorales and pieces glorifying the intimacies of the Biedermeier home and hearth steadfastly proclaimed Schumann's "Romantic" aesthetics. The subtle subtexts of nationalism and class discussed previously continued to be transmitted in albums of children's music, especially since many of the nineteenth-century composers of these albums were in fact admiring students, teachers, and associates of Schumann from the conservatories in Leipzig and Dresden.
The popularity of Schumann's op. A recent search of the Worldcat database revealed arrangements of various pieces of the Album for E-flat baritone saxophone and piano, B-flat bass clarinet and piano, cello and piano, voice and piano, bassoon or contrabassoon and piano, tuba and piano, flute and piano, clarinet and piano, alto sax and piano, marimba or xylophone, one or two guitars, flute and guitar, organ, trumpet or cornet quartet and piano, brass quartet, string quartet, saxophone quartet, clarinet quartet, flute quartet, harp, harp and trombone, trumpet or cornet trio with piano, flute-oboe-clarinet-bassoon quartet, string orchestra with double bass and piano, a quartet of any four G-clef instruments, a quartet of "any four instruments," woodwind quintet, and string orchestra.
Of particular note was the worldwide exposure accorded the "The Happy Farmer" by virtue of its inclusion in the first book of the Suzuki Violin School. In addition, Schumann's "House Rules," the collection of quasi-Biblical pronouncements that articulated the philosophical underpinnings of the Album, achieved a status fully equal to that of the Album. First issued as an appendix to the second edition, it soon appeared as an independent entity. The "House Rules" appeared in countless schoolbooks and were subsequently translated into many other foreign languages. Schumann's Album was immediately recognized as an important resource by leading German pedagogues of the second half of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.
Shortly after its publication, Schumann received reports that his Album had been well received by teachers in Zurich, and he was entreated by Julius Fischer, a well-known piano teacher, to write a pedagogical piano course.
Free Piano Sheet Music – The Happy Farmer – Schumann Op. 68 No. 10 – Michael Kravchuk
Ruthardt , and Hugo Riemann However, it is arguable that Schumann's original conception of a "musical domestic album" linking music with illustrations and text achieved full fruition not in his own country, but rather in the United States. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, American piano pedagogy declared its independence from and superiority over European methods.
Mathews , Nin Darlington, Juliette Aurelia Graves Adams , and Dorothy Gaynor Blake , the pleasurability of piano learning and the cultivation of expressiveness were given precedence over the development of technical prowess. In fact, an article from Wieck's Klavier und Gesang sharply criticizing the "charlatanry" and "glittery tawdriness" of virtuoso performers who cultivated the "heartless and worthless dexterity of the fingers" to the exclusion of beautiful tone, shading, and expressiveness appeared in a popular American music magazine, Dwight's Journal , in Mathews, in a December article for The Musical Record, cast doubt upon the value of a traditional European training:.
You can find quantities of well-trained fingers, and lots of charming exercise-playing, but never in the whole thousands of pupils one single musical player, except by accident in some pupil for whom music was too strong for the The assiduous practice of exercises of any kind gives rise to a style and manner of playing which is exercise-like and not musical. The touch becomes unsympathetic, and playing monotonous, and the whole takes on more and more a distinct character as good exercise-playing and not musical playing. Schumann's character pieces for children continued to be valued for their imaginative content and were included as repertoire in methods by Mathews, William T.
Sudds, Stephen T. Nine tenths of the "teaching" pieces that flood the market might be thrown into the trash barrel without a pang to make way for that Golden Treasury of music for children, the 43 Piano Pieces for the Young , Opus 68, familiarly known as the Album for Youth.
What a blessing it would be to rid ourselves of the litter-ature of swing songs devoid of swing, cradle songs that don't rock, skating pieces, pop-guns, and what not? These are true teaching pieces in the sense that they are written to be taught, not played. They remind me forcibly of a remark made by an angling friend of mine about the array of lures displayed in a sporting-good shop: that they are manufactured to capture not fish, but the eye of the fisherman. Schumann provides more tempting bait The primary means by which American methods were made more child friendly—the introduction of titled character pieces, poetic texts, and illustrations—had been envisioned by Schumann in Technological advances in printing facilitated the publication of methods specifically designed to appeal to children.
Related The Happy Farmer (from Album for the Young, Op. 68, No. 10)
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