Furry Leez (Für Elise)

adapted/deranged by Teresa Jennings and Karl Hitzemann

So, who exactly was the "Elise" from Beethoven's bagatelle "Für Elise"? That's actually a good question. Since "Für Elise" was discovered and published some 40 years after Beethoven's death, we can only speculate. The most widely accepted theory is that Beethoven's original manuscript was misread (apparently, he had bad penmanship) and "Elise" was actually "Therese" Malfatti, a student and friend of his. In any case, it's probably safe to say that this mystery person was not "Furry Leez," but it does make for a neat bit of silliness. You can have a lot of fun performing this one. Make sure to let your singers really ham it up in the "almost sneezing" section at measures 18-20 as well as the "sneezing" part at the end. You'll get a great idea of how it should go from the performance track of the recording for this issue.

While the lyrics to our arrangement are quite silly, the accompaniment is not. The piano part is just as Beethoven wrote, with two exceptions – the key was changed from A minor to E minor (a much better singing range), and the time signature was changed from 3/8 to 3/4 (we thought that would be easier for young musicians to read). We also added strings, triangle, and suspended cymbal for a nice dramatic effect. This is a great opportunity to introduce a lesson on Beethoven and have some fun at the same time.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.