New Ode to Joy Arrangement by Wendy Stevens: Contemporary, fresh, and melancholy | ComposeCreate.com

$9.99 Studio license

New Ode to Joy Arrangement

Ode to Joy has always been one of my students’ favorite pieces when they are starting out in their method books. Of course, publishers love it because it’s written by Beethoven and is public domain. But they and students both like it because the quarter notes and step-wise melody are very easy to play.

Plus, it’s familiar. Familiar music is always easier to learn.

But Beethoven’s melody was actually brilliant for many reasons and should be explored in more than just Level 1 one of a method book! So, today I’m happy to release a new contemporary arrangement of Ode to Joy for early intermediate pianists.

First, what’s so brilliant and catchy about the melody?

Why is it that everyone knows this tune? And why is it so catchy? After all, it’s not a riff from a video game, so why does it still resonate?

One of the things we analyzed in our college form and analysis class was the shape of a melody. Of course, you probably know that a good and memorable melody should have an apex…just one place in the melody that is the focal point. But many times, composition students forget that an apex doesn’t have to be a high point. Of course, the definition of the word apex might imply otherwise, but it’s more helpful to a composer to think of the apex as the focal point. This means that the focal point can actually be a low pitch in the piece.

Beethoven does an apex (or an inverted apex if you want to stick to the basic definition of the word) with the low note in the B section or m. 12 of the melody.

New Ode to Joy Arrangement by Wendy Stevens | ComposeCreate.com

Beethoven does more with this melody from which especially beginning composers. You can read more about composing melodies and working with apexes here so the inverted apex is not the only reason that kids and adults still love this melody. But it’s an interesting, often overlooked detail.

So what’s special about this arrangement?  PETO?

New Ode to Joy arrangement by Wendy Stevens | ComposeCreate.comThis Ode to Joy piano arrangement is written in a contemporary, melancholy style. It falls easily under the hands and unfolds into a big sounding climax. However, no octaves were used in the composition of this piece (sounds like I’m a member of PETO – People for the ethical treatment of octaves), so it’s easy for young students or students with small hands to play. But even those with large hands will enjoy the way that it unfolds into a big climax that falls easily under the hands.

The keys in this piece include C major, D major, and G major and the smallest note value is an eighth note! So it’s very easy to play.

Finally, what’s the correct title?

So, is this piece called “Ode to Joy” or “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee?” Well, the tune can be different names depending on how you use it. It seems that Beethoven used a part of Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” poem written in 1785 (see here and here) so that is where that title came from. It’s a part of his 9th symphony as you know, but the tune and their translation is often used in churches and is often titled “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee.”

But it doesn’t matter which title you like, because we have included 2 versions of this arrangement, so that you get the piece using both titles!

Watch and Listen:

Available here!

Ode to Joy comes as a studio license, so you can use it over and over again for any students you directly teach! We have also created a discounted bundle with the popular Amazing Grace (mid-elementary solo that is popular with all ages of students because of its big sound) that you can get at a bigger discount this week!

The new Ode to Joy arrangement includes:

  • 1 early intermediate piece
  • Cover (we always include that)

Bundle: Amazing Grace and Ode to Joy by Wendy Stevens | ComposeCreate.com

The Amazing Grace + Ode to Joy Bundle, includes:

  • Ode to Joy – early intermediate
  • Amazing Grace – mid elementary
  • Covers for both of these pieces!

Plus, because this piece and bundle comes as a studio license, so you can use it for ALL the students that you  directly teach every year you are teaching. That’s like getting an unlimited supply of a piece of Music Kids Love for less than $10 or an unlimited supple of 2 popular pieces for less than $19!

New Ode to Joy Arrangement by Wendy Stevens: Contemporary, fresh, and melancholy | ComposeCreate.com

$9.99 Studio license

$19.98  $18.50 Studio licensed bundle
Includes both Ode to Joy and Amazing Grace

Bundle: Amazing Grace and Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee by Wendy Stevens | ComposeCreate.com

Studio Licensed Bundle Sale!
Includes Ode to Joy and Amazing Grace
$19.98  $18.50

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