A popular piece by Ludwig van Beethoven. Here's an arrangement as a sequence of MIDI notes:



tempo=300
0 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 72 71 69 52 57

0 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 72 71 69 52 57

71 72 74 76 55 60 67 77 76 74 55 59
65 76 74 72 52 57
64 74 72 71 52 64 64 76 64 76 76 88
75 76 75 76 75 76

75 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 72 71 69 52 57

tempo=550
72 64 72 65 72 67
72 53 57 0 60 0 57 0 77 60 57 76
76 53 58 0 74 62 58 0 82 62 58 81
81 55 79 64 77 55 76 64 74 55 72 64
70 53 57 0 69 60 57 70 69 67 69 70
72 53 57 0 60 0 57 0 74 60 75 57
76 52 57 0 60 0 76 57 77 62 69 57
72 55 64 0 74 72 71 72 74 65 55 71
60 79 67 79 69 79 71 79 72 79 74 79
76 79 84 83 53 79 77 76 55 79 77 74
60 79 67 79 69 79 71 79 72 79 74 79
76 79 84 83 53 79 77 76 55 79 77 74
56 77 76 75 76 71 76 75 76 71 76 75

tempo=300
76 0 0 71 76 75
76 0 0 71 76 75
76 75 76 75 76 75 76 75 76

75 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 72 71 69 52 57

71 72 74 76 55 60 67 77 76 74 55 59
65 76 74 72 52 57
64 74 72 71 52 64 64 76 64 76 76 88
75 76 75 76 75 76

75 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56  64 72 71

69 45 45 45 45 45 73 45 45 45 45 45
74 45 45 45 76 77 68 45 45 45 77 45
76 45 45 45 45 45 74 38 38 38 72 71
69 39 39 39 69 39 69 40 72 40 71 44
69 45 45 45 45 45 73 45 45 45 45 45
74 45 45 45 76 77 77 45 45 45 77 45
77 46 46 46 46 46 75 46 46 46 74 72
70 46 46 46 69 46 68 47 47 47 68 47
69 48 0 0 0 0 68 52 0 0 0 0

tempo=450
45 60 64 69 72 76 74 72 71
57 72 76 81 84 88 86 84 83
57 84 88 93 96 100 98 96 95
94 93 92 91 90 89 88 87 86
85 84 83 82 81 80 79 78 77

tempo=300
76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 72 71 69 52 57

71 72 74 76 55 60 67 77 76 74 55 59
65 76 74 72 52 57
64 74 72 71 52 64 64 76 64 76 76 88
75 76 75 76 75 76

75 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69 71 52 56 64 68 71 72 52 57
64 76 75 76 75 76 71 74 72 69 52 57
60 64 69
tempo=240
71 52 56
tempo=200
62 72 71 69
tempo=40
45

Fur Elise was written in 1810 and dedicated to Therese Malfatti, a 14 year old who Beethoven unsuccessfully proposed marriage to.

This tune is familiar to many people today for several reasons. It is used by some telephone companies as the music played when the customer is on hold. It is also one of the first classical pieces that beginning piano students learn to play. The song has been featured in many movies as well, including Death in Venice, Kiss Me Stupid, Fearless, and Rosemary's Baby..

On another note, if your computer ever randomly plays Fur Elise or It's a Small World, do not panic. You probably don't have a virus. This is an indication sent to the PC speaker from the computer's BIOS that the CPU fan is failing or has failed, or that the power supply voltages have drifted out of tolerance. This is a design feature of a detection circuit and system BIOSes developed by Award/Unicore from 1997 on.

Like Heart and Soul, Fur Elise is one of the pieces that piano students love, and piano teachers hate.

As zgirll above says, most beginers at the piano play it--a version of it. The actual, original, authentic composition, by Ludwig van Beethoven, catalogue WoO 59, is currently in the grade 6 List of the Syllabus of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, out of 10 grades--not a piece that beginers can play; it has been revised to grade 7 in the new edition to be released this fall.

Heart and Soul, by Hoagy Carmichael, a great American singer and song writer, does certainly permit many arrangements; I admit the first piece I ever played was a version taught by another student while waiting for a piano class--my first lessons; it was a duet that, surprisingly modern, could be played without end--or until the teacher cried Stop!

In 13 years as a piano teacher, I have only taught the original twice, once to an advanced, and energetic teen-age boy, and now to a quite competent adult. It was difficult to ensure the edition had the correct catalogue number. This was important for Mark, my teen, because anything else would not have been accepted for his examination.

For Jennifer, my adult, I also wanted her to have, at the end of all her work, the actual piece. Depending upon the way the repeats are arranged, the complete verion of Fur Elise can be from 6 to 8 pages long. In addition to the E D# E D# E D# E D# famous openning in sixteenth notes (that most play by ear), there are long sections in thirty-second notes, twice as fast as the sixteenths. (There are 4 sixteenths to a beat, and 8 thirty-seconds to a beat; not an easy feat when the actual tempo is quite fast.)

I cannot bear to see younger, or less adept students struggle with a one or two page simpification, only to arrive at the end of their work with nothing that sounds anything like what they may have been listening to, if indeed, they have been listening to the original piano work. If not, they have been listening to some arrangement for ensemble, or electronic instruments, complete with video, and just as unachievable as any top hit on MTV or, in Canada, Much Music.

At the piano school where I teach, all of my colleagues share my disdain for this piece, even the actual, but even more for the virtual; our job is to help our students play music, to help them to find piano teaching books that present the thousands of great works that are just waiting for them to find and enjoy.

It is sad when a student, particulary a good one, feels the only pieces worth playing are the ones he has heard before, from a video, a commercial, a movie, at a hockey game; I work hard to show them that often what has never been heard before is more beautiful, more satisfying than one they may never even be able to reproduce.

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