Chopsticks (music)

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"Chopsticks" (original name "The Celebrated Chop Waltz") is a simple, widely known waltz for the piano. Written in 1877, it is the only published piece[1] by the British composer Euphemia Allen (under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli). Allen—whose brother was a music publisher—was sixteen when she composed the piece, with arrangements for solo and duet.[2] The title "Chop Waltz" comes from Allen's specification that the melody be played in two-part harmony with both hands held in a vertical orientation, little fingers down and palms facing each other, striking the keys with a chopping motion.[2] The similar "The Coletten Polka" also was first heard in 1877, with the piano collection Paraphrases elaborating on the theme by 1879.[2] "Chopsticks" continues to be popular in various forms of media.

History[edit]

Original composition[edit]

In 1877, "The Celebrated Chop Waltz" was published with arrangements for solo and duet.[2] It was written by the British composer and sister of a music publisher Euphemia Allen under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli.[2] The piece is a simple, widely known waltz for the piano, popularly referred to as "Chopsticks". Composed at age sixteen, Allen never published any other musical composition.[1][2] The title "Chop Waltz" comes from Allen's specification that the melody be played in two-part harmony with both hands held in a vertical orientation, little fingers down and palms facing each other, striking the keys with a chopping motion.[2]

Paraphrases[edit]

In 1877, Alexander Borodin's daughter played "The Coteletten Polka", with four bars of music similar to the beginning of de Lulli's work, though there is no hard evidence of a common source between the two pieces.[2] A group of Russian composers—Alexander Borodin, César Cui, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoly Lyadovcollaboratively composed three-hand piano variations on this theme for Borodin's daughter Gania. (Modest Mussorgsky did not participate, thinking that the composition would be meaningless.) The original edition of this collection dates from 1879. The second edition was published the following year (1880), under the title Paraphrases: 24 Variations et 15 petits pièces sur le thème favori et obligé. Franz Liszt was thrilled with this volume and composed a short tribute for piano solo to be inserted before Borodin's Polka. Later editions of the work saw it grow from 15 to 17 other pieces, including a contribution from Nikolai Shcherbachov when it was reissued in 1893.[3]

In cinema, music and television[edit]

Tati-tati[edit]

Tati-tati

An equivalent of this rudimentary two-finger piano exercise was known in Russia in duple meter as "tati-tati" or the "Cutlet Polka". This version alternates the notes between the hands, rather than playing them at the same time in harmony.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Celebrated Chop Waltz". IMSLP. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Fuld, James J. (2000). The Book of World-famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk. Courier Corporation. p. 170-171. ISBN 978-0-486-41475-1. 
  3. ^ Downing, Patrick (24 February 2011). "The Origin of "Chopsticks"". www.westmusic.com. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  4. ^ "Chopsticks with Variations (Thompson, John Sylvanus) – IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library: Free Public Domain Sheet Music". imslp.org. Retrieved 2016-07-04. 
  5. ^ The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T, YouTube
  6. ^ fraames (2011-10-09), big – film scene, retrieved 2017-03-25 

External links[edit]