Ode to Joy

Ode to Joy
O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen,
und freudenvollere.
Oh friends, not these sounds!
Let us instead strike up more pleasing
and more joyful ones!

These are the first words in Beethoven’s 9th symphony, which was to be the crown jewel of Beethoven’s legacy.  It is his final symphony premiering only 3 years before his death. Written during his “late period,”  his compositions at this time were growing increasingly complex as Beethoven confronted his own mortality, struggling with questions about the mark he would leave on the musical world. Everyone expected his 9th symphony to be complex, heavy, and barely accessible. However, they were wrong.  Instead Beethoven’s 9th  symphony is a simple exclamation of joy. Beethoven took the memorable text of Fredrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” and set it to a simple melody. By doing so, he gave us a moving work that unites us all as “friends” and brings us together in musical joy.

A Feeling of Friendship, Unity and Joy

This feeling of friendship, unity and joy led Leonard Bernstein to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, it is what leads us and so many musicians to rekindle this simple tune in this time of quarantine and solitude.  As a result, we want all of our students to join us in bringing life to this melody.  This isn’t a song about some incredible feat of musical prowess, it’s about a simplicity and joy that we can all share in.  In that same spirit, we have arranged this melody. We hope to bring together every musician and parent that is a part of the Menchey family, from our staff and teachers, to people who are just starting their musical journey.  Record yourself and celebrate with us as we unite as many people as we can through this truly moving work of art.

Just 3 easy steps to take part

  • Download and print!
  • Record!
  • Upload!

Download the part for your instrument:

Violin   Viola   Cello   Bass

Flute   Oboe   Clarinet   Alto Sax   Tenor Sax

Trumpet   French Horn   Trombone   Baritone

Piano   Guitar   Keyboard Percussion

Tips for the Best Recording

  • Practice your part
  • Be sure to record at correct tempo – Quarter note = 160
  • Use your metronome in silent mode
  • Eliminate as much background noise as possible
  • Don’t play too close to your microphone.

Upload Your Recording

Need to hear the melody? Here’s a sample video to help you get started.