Blog > Name That Tune!
by Maureen Buja | January 6th, 2015

standard Name That Tune!

Book CoverCredit: http://www.amazon.com/

Book Cover
Credit: http://www.amazon.com/

How on earth do you remember all those melodies, all those little turns of phrase and all that invention by all those composers? We know from brain studies that combining words and music is a positive way to combine both parts of the brain in working on the same problem. The fun part is finding words for works that were intended to be instrumental only!

Let’s take Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. One of his great last works, but how do you remember that melody? Musical mnemonics to the rescue!

Take a listen just to the first 10 seconds.

Mozart: Symphony No. 40: I Molto allegro
Now listen to it again with some words:

It’s a Bird
It’s a Plane
It’s a Mozart

Or

Give a hand
To the band
Playing Mozart
He wrote music
Both charming
and witty….

How about Eine Kleine Nachtmusik?

Listen to the first 10 seconds

Credit: http://www.thecultureconcept.com/

Credit: http://www.thecultureconcept.com/

Mozart: Serenarde No. 13 in G major, K. 525, Eine kleine nachtmusik: I. Allegro
Now listen to it again with some words:

Eine
Kleine
Nachtmusic das ist.
Written
By Herr
Mozart
In a mist.

How about a bit of Haydn? The second movement of his Surprise Symphony could be thought of this way:

Take a listen to the beginning;

Haydn: Symphony No. 94 in G major, „The Surprise“: II. Andante
Now listen to it again with some words:

Over-taken by a whim
(Not un-us-ual for him)
Haydn wrote a piece that’s sym-
Phonic’ly surprising!

(repeat, but more quietly)
Over-taken by a whim
(Not un-us-ual for him)
Haydn wrote a piece that’s sym-
Phonic’ly surpris…-BOOM!

Now that we’ve given you the first words – make up your own ending to these melodies. We’ve tried at least to keep the composer’s name in the work and any other information we could include – can you extend our starts?

With thanks to Josefa Heifez’s book From Bach to Verse for some of these lines.

More in Blog:

Latest Articles:

1 Comment

  1. Nice idea. But I fear it may spoil the music for you if you remember the phrase you invented with it. Like I can’t hear Beethoven’s 5th symphony anymore after listening to PDQ Bach’s “New horizons”.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *