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J.F.

ARCHER

12 Variations
on

"Ah vous dirai-ja, Maman"


(or, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

for

Solo Violin

PREFACE

In the course of young violinists training, particularly since the advent of


the Suzuki Method, the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star will be one
that is usually encountered early in the learning process right off. The tune
itself offers to the young player an exercise piece for good bow control and
fingering at a primary stage of learning solid playing technique. The tune
lends itself to being a superb subject for musical variations due to the simple
melody structure and never ending charm and historical popularity.
From a Wikipedia Article:
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" is a popular English nursery rhyme. The lyrics are from an early
nineteenth-century English poem, "The Star" by Jane Taylor. The poem, which is in couplet
form, was first published in 1806 in Rhymes for the Nursery, a collection of poems by Taylor and
her sister Ann. It is often sung to the tune of the French melody "Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman"
(oldest known publication 1761). The English lyrics have five stanzas, although only the first is
widely known. Mozart wrote twelve variations on Ah! Vous dirai-je, Maman. It has a Roud
Folk Song Index number of 7666.

As with many of my works, I encourage the teacher (or performer) to add


bowings and fingerings as suits them for teaching their students. The
variations offer a great deal of ways in which they could be played, and it
would enhance the musical worth better if the overall piece were to be more
individualized by such a practice. In this world of often over-editing and
accepted norms in violin technique, it is a lost art today for the violinists to
actually think for themselves when it comes to such problematic situations.
Concertmasters are very familiar with the practice, but the average violinist,
unless they are a teacher or composer, would be lost without every slur,
bowing, fingering and dynamic and technical expression markings
concretely present in the printed music. This little piece should offer a good
practice in that art, as well as a small, light piece of music for the stage for
both the amateur and professional, respectively.
Jerald Franklin Archer
June, 2010

12 Variations on
"Ah vous dirai-ja, Maman"
(or, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Theme and Variations (ca. q

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J.F. Archer

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FINALE

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