Today’s video is a tutorial on how to play Brahms Lullaby – it’s a very famous and well-known lullaby, and this arrangement is written in the key of F major.
The sheet music can be found below:
Johannes Brahms was a romantic era composer who looked like Santa Claus. His self-titled lullaby is originally titled “Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht” (“Good evening, good night”), composed in 1868, and the lyrics are mainly a collection of German folk poems. If you don’t recognize this lullaby by the title, you’ll definitely recognize it by the melody.
Chord Theory Review
There are 3 really important chords in every key (to simplify). So since we’re working in the key of F, here are the notes of F scale:
F – G – A – Bb – C – D – E – F
The 3 most important notes/chords are F (I), Bb (IV), and C (V), which we will use in it’s 7 form (C7 or V7).
In this arrangement, chords are played in their broken form, instead of blocked or solid. This creates more of a gentle, flowing effect – perfect for a lullaby. Before you even get into the melody, first try out the left hand pattern to familiarize yourself with it.
Harmony in Brahms Lullaby
Now let’s look to the right hand. You’ll notice many of the notes are doubled up. A little harmony secret – intervals of a third and sixth usually sound REALLY good doubled up with a melody, and that’s what you see here. We’ll talk more details of harmony in the next video (introduction to harmonizing a melody). The least you need to know is every note that’s doubled up in the RH is either a 3rd or 6th, with the exception of the last bar.
How to play Brahms Lullaby
Once you’re comfortable with the notes of each hand, and the RH especially will take some practice, it’s time to put it together. Be careful with the counting to make sure both hands are aligning properly. In ¾ time signature, watch that you aren’t hesitating between bar lines.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to play Brahms Lullaby – it’s a really nice piece, and surprisingly more complicated than it seems – but still appropriate for beginners.
Until next time, friends!