Phrasing Mini Class: 5 Variations Of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Phrasing is what adds uniqueness and originality to a musician’s performance. By altering the stresses and focus points of a musical phrase, we are able to evoke different feelings from the same notes. This concept can be difficult to get a hold of when first learning about, so in this article we are going to do a mini class! Here, we will take the first few notes of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and phrase it in 5 different ways. Ready? Let’s get going! 

Phrase 1

Here are the first 2 bars of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as originally written! The melody is presented in a clear and concise manner. 

Phrase 2

Here, the first note has become a dotted quarter, forcing the second note to become an 8th. This pattern repeats for the next two notes. 

In bar 2, the quarters are now an 8th and an 8th tied to a quarter. 

This variation provides a bit of swing! 

Phrase 3

In this example 8th rests are introduced, creating a choppy and bouncy rendition. By chopping a melody up with rests we are able to bring new feelings to an old melody.

Phrase 4

Eighth notes and quarter rests combine here to create an almost sneaky sounding performance! By chopping a melody up with rests we are able to bring new feelings to an old melody.

Phrase 5

In this rendition the phrase has been truly stretched! Though it is quite different from the original, we can still pick out the original intention of the melody. 

As you can see and hear, a simple melody can be performed in countless ways!

As an exercise, pick a short phrase from one of your own pieces and see how many variations you can come up with! Do this enough times, and you will be on your way to becoming a master of phrasing! 

Closing Notes

Phrasing can be a tricky concept to get down. If you’d like a hand, our school is home to the best music teachers in Toronto. Contact us today to get started! 

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