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Sheet Music: The Celebrated Chop Waltz

TitleThe Celebrated Chop Waltz
Alternate titlesChopsticks
ComposerEuphemia Allen (1861–1949)
InstrumentationFlute duet
KeyC major
RangeC5–E6
Time signature3/4
Tempo72 BPM
Performance time0:30
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (50 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (1 kB) MP3 (338 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (1 kB) MP3 (358 kB)
Date added2009-08-25
Last updated2009-08-25
CategoriesTraditional/Folk, Waltzes

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Tuesday 25 August 2009

Tune of the Day: Chopsticks

Flute duet arrangement of “The Celebrated Chop Waltz”
Chopsticks

This simple, extremely well-known waltz for piano was written in 1877 by Euphemia Allen, a 16-year-old British girl, who published the tune under the pseudonym of Arthur de Lulli. As far as we know, she never wrote anything else.

On page 3 of the original edition for piano duet were these instructions: “This part [primo part of the duet] must be played with both hands turned sideways, the little fingers lowest, so that the movements of the hands imitate the chopping from which this waltz gets its name.”

Some people think the name of the waltz comes from the Chinese eating utensil, because the piece is sometimes played with just the forefingers and this looks like someone spearing a morsel of food with chopsticks.

In the UK however, although this piece of music is well-known, it is not usually referred to as “Chopsticks”. The piece of music known as "Chopsticks" in the UK is actually a different piano piece, elsewhere known as “Der Flohwalzer”.