Posted by Remo Giuffré on
The World’s Most Played Piano Tune
As a piece of music played using two hands on the piano, it has come to represent all that is easy and basic.
In its simplest form, “Chopsticks” is a one octave-spanning, C major ditty that every child learns to play on the piano.
It started life as a waltz. Composed in 1877 by Euphemia Allen, “The Celebrated Chop Waltz” (original name) was the 16-year-old British composer’s only ever published work.
Her brother, a music publisher named Mozart Allen helped get the sheet music published under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli.
In the original sheet music, Allen includes an unusual instruction for the player: “Play both hands turned sideways, little fingers lowest, so that the movement of the hands imitates the chopping from which this waltz gets its name”. Nobody seems to take much notice of this directive.
The Chopsticks melody has been used and built on by several artists, including Liberace in his characteristically elaborate Chopsticks variations. Watch HERE.
References to Chopsticks in cinema and television are many and varied. Marilyn Monroe played the duet version alongside Tom Ewell in The Seven year Itch (watch HERE) … and even Bugs Bunny has had a crack.
Do you know how to play it? HERE is an online tutorial to help you remember.
1. Chopsticks Sheet Music
2. Watch HERE. YouTube Credit: Matthew Vance Music.
3. Euphemia Allen
4. Liberace Chopsticks. Watch HERE.
5. Marilyn Monroe And Tom Ewell In "The 7 Year Itch" playing "Chopsticks", 1955. Watch HERE. YouTube Credit: Marilyn Monroe Video Archives.
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