A new look at Mozart’s “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

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A new look at Mozart’s “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

A painting of Mozart from the 18th century.

A painting of Mozart from the 18th century.

Copyright Free Image Via Britannica

A painting of Mozart from the 18th century.

Copyright Free Image Via Britannica

Copyright Free Image Via Britannica

A painting of Mozart from the 18th century.

Luke Pascarelli, Reporter

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We all know that Mozart wrote “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but did you know that it was actually a 13-movement sonata?

Oh, you didn’t? Well then you’re uncultured scum who feeds off of the defecation of artistic expression and historic significance. But do not fret! Very truly I tell you, there is hope.

I’m going to go through Mozart’s first album track-by-track and explain their general purpose within the context of the project, and by the time I’m finished, hopefully you’ll have learned a thing or two, and you can live the rest of your life knowing that you’re better than everyone.

The first movement is “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” Nothing we haven’t seen before. EXCEPT THAT IT IS SOMETHING WE HAVEN’T SEEN BEFORE BECAUSE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IT’S EVER BEEN SEEN WHAAAAAT?

There’s a huge bass drop (or should I say treble drop?) at measure 25, when Wolfgang introduces his traditional sixteenth-note chromatic-classical style. But don’t be fooled! It’s still “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”

The same words and melody can easily be sung underneath eight-year-old Amadeus’s expertly crafted, rapidfire pianoforte riffs. This movement is pretty extra; eight measures extra, to be exact. The line “Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are” is played twice before continuing.

The third movement returns to the melody we all know and love in the right hand part, while the crazy swift sixteenth-note rhythms are now in the bassline. This track also sees a return to the 24-measure structure. Mozart knew he couldn’t be too extra otherwise he would overwhelm the listener.

If only modern music understood this concept. There’s more to rap than the Versace triplet. #LeWrongGeneration #Mozart4Lyfe #WolfGang #1750sKids

Speaking of triplets, the fourth movement takes us somewhere new with a triplet flow reminiscent of 6/8 time. Measure 96 breaks the flow with a dotted-eighth/sixteenth lick straight out of left field. This measure is a callback to the main motif of the first variation (second movement).

While this movement may not be as extra as the one it reminisces, it is certainly more trill. This movement has trills all over the place! There are a total of 8 trills throughout the track. Eight trills! That’s one trill every 3 measures! That’s so trill!

Much like the third movement, the fifth movement expands upon the fourth movement by returning to the nursery rhyme melody in the right hand and moving the Versace to the bass. This time, there are two sixteenth-note surprises: one in measure 115, and another in measure 119.

However, this time the triplets continue through the sixteenth notes, creating a rhythmic 4:3 ratio which is a slightly more difficult ratio for our brain to fully comprehend, which causes us to interpret such as an increase in tension. Basically, 8-year-old Mozart was smarter than you’ll ever be.

The sixth movement takes it back a bit. The tempo is slightly slower, and there is a heavy emphasis on minimalism, as all 24 measures could technically be played with just two fingers.

If only modern music understood the importance of dynamic control. If only Mozart were alive today. #Paulisdeadmisshimmisshim

The seventh movement emphasizes the separation of the two hands. The right hand plays the famous melody in short staccato chords, while the left hand plays a Mozart-signature flowing sixteenth-note counterpoint.

The eighth movement seems somewhat out of place within the context of the piece. It doesn’t really compliment track 7 or variation VIII. It’s really just out of place. It’s definitely a Mozart song, but is it a Mozart’s first-sonata song?

I don’t think so.

Although it does utilize the second-movement motif that was previously called-back in track 4.

The ninth movement takes us from C Major into C Minor. It still kind of sounds like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but you can’t sing it anymore, which is kinda lame, but you can’t write a successful 18th century sonata without a movement in minor, so I understand why W.A.M. put it here.

The 10th movement just seems like he was running out of ideas. It’s just Twinkle Twinkle Little Star but with 2 chords instead of 4. Maybe it was one of the first parts he wrote and when he finished everything else he decided to keep it in because he liked how it sounded; cut him some slack, he was eight years old, he’s not perfect (yet)!

The 11th movement is the eighth movement but done right. Just like how the seventh movement demonstrated the individual use of the human body’s two hands, this variation emphasizes the way they can complement each other with perfect syncopation, performed with an overlap technique that would make Shostakovich swoon. This is how you play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”.

The 12th movement takes it back even more than the sixth movement did. Although it’s much more involved in arrangement, performance tempo is much much slower. Mozart wrote “Adagio,” or “really freaking slow,” in layman’s terms. This is the longest movement in terms of time.

Much like the sixteenth notes in the fifth movement, this drastically decreased speed serves as a will to build tension – or anticipation – for the final variation.

The 13th variation is the longest in terms of measures, with a whopping 50 measures, covering 5 pages. And what a finale! Throughout the majority of the movement, both hands are playing the same rapidfire sixteenth-note rhythm.

This is not easy.

To have two different fingers play two different notes at one exact time in unison is difficult as it is, but even a professional pianist would have difficulty doing that 10 times a second for 65 seconds.

In conclusion, everything you’ve ever known is a lie.

Mozart didn’t write “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. It was actually the melody of an old French folk tune, which Mozart clearly stated in the title of the piece, which is translated to “Twelve Variations of ‘Oh! Shall I Tell You, Mommy’ for Piano.”

And Mozart didn’t start composing when he was eight! Of course he didn’t! What eight-year-old has ever done anything this sophisticated? No, he was five when he wrote his first composition.

Anyway, I give Mozart’s 265th composition 9 out of 10 (Twinkle Twinkle Little) Stars.

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