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by Robert Schumann
First edition title page
EnglishScenes from Childhood
PeriodRomantic period
Movements13 pieces
ScoringSolo piano

Kinderszenen[a] (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪndɐˌst͡seːnən], "Scenes from Childhood"), Op. 15, by Robert Schumann, is a set of thirteen pieces of music for piano written in 1838.

History and description[edit]

Schumann wrote 30 movements for this work but chose 13 for the final version. The unused movements were later published in Bunte Blätter, Op. 99, and Albumblätter, Op. 124.[1] Schumann initially intended to publish Kinderszenen together with Novelletten (Opus 21); the shared literary theme is suggested by the original title Kindergeschichten (Children's Tales). He told his wife Clara that the "thirty small, droll things", most of them less than a page in length, were inspired by her comment that he sometimes seemed "like a child". He described them in 1840 as "more cheerful, gentler, more melodic" than his earlier works.[2]

Movement No. 7 of the work, Träumerei, is one of Schumann's best known pieces; it is the opening and closing musical theme of the 1947 Hollywood film Song of Love,[3] and Träumerei is the title of a 1944 German biographical film on Schumann.[4] In Russia, a hummed choral a cappella version became known as mourning music, being played annually during the Minute of Silence on Victory Day.[5] In 2021, violinist Fenella Humphreys released an arrangement of Träumerei for violin.[6]

Originally called Leichte Stücke ("Easy Pieces"), the section titles were only added after the completion of the composition, and Schumann described them as "nothing more than delicate hints for execution and interpretation".[7] Timothy D. Taylor, however, has discussed the choice of titles for this work in the context of the changing situation of music culturally and economically, stating that the final movement, entitled Der Dichter spricht (The Poet Speaks), marked a realisation among composers that, due to the decline of patronage structures in the 19th century, their musical works must take on new meanings.[8]

There is no known complete manuscript of Kinderszenen.[9]


Title Key Play
01. Von fremden Ländern und Menschen
00. Of Foreign Lands and Peoples
G major
02. Kuriose Geschichte
00. A Curious Story
D major
03. Hasche-Mann
00. Blind Man's Buff
B minor
04. Bittendes Kind
00. Pleading Child
D major
05. Glückes genug
00. Happy Enough
D major
06. Wichtige Begebenheit
00. An Important Event
A major
07. Träumerei
00. Dreaming
F major
08. Am Kamin
00. At the Fireside
F major
09. Ritter vom Steckenpferd
00. Knight of the Hobbyhorse
C major
10. Fast zu ernst
00. Almost Too Serious
G minor
11. Fürchtenmachen
00. Frightening
E minor – G major
12. Kind im Einschlummern
00. Child Falling Asleep
E minor - E major
13. Der Dichter spricht
00. The Poet Speaks
G major


  1. ^ Original spelling: Kinderscenen
  2. ^ Original spelling: Curiose Geschichte
  3. ^ Original spelling: Am Camin


  1. ^ Polansky, Robert (Spring 1978). "The Rejected Kinderscenen of Robert Schumann's Opus 15". Journal of the American Musicological Society. 31 (1): 126–131. doi:10.1525/jams.1978.31.1.03a00070. JSTOR 831388.
  2. ^ Jensen, Eric Frederick (16 January 2012). Schumann. Oxford University Press. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-0-19-983068-8 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Träumerei" played by Katharine Hepburn in the film Song of Love on YouTube
  4. ^ Träumerei at IMDb
  5. ^ Минута молчания памяти павших (1968) [A moment of silence in memory of the fallen] on YouTube
  6. ^ "Round Revue - Fenella Humphreys - Music for Violin". Round Revue. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  7. ^ Thorpe, Day (December 1990). "Music Reviews: Kinderszenen, Op. 15; Album für die Jugend, Op. 68 by Robert Schumann, Otto von Irmer, Walther Lampe". Notes. Second Series. 11 (4): 605–606. doi:10.2307/893060. JSTOR 893060.
  8. ^ Taylor, Timothy D. (December 1990). "Aesthetic and Cultural Issues in Schumann's Kinderszenen". International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music. 21 (2): 161–178. doi:10.2307/837021. JSTOR 837021.
  9. ^ Sams, Eric (1974). "Review: Schuman Scenes – Kinderszenen, Op. 15, by Schumann, Franzpeter Goebels". The Musical Times. 115 (1572): 146. doi:10.2307/955016. JSTOR 955016.

External links[edit]