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Sheet Music: Dance of the Mirlitons

TitleDance of the Mirlitons
from The Nutcracker Suite
Alternate titlesDanse des Mirlitons
Dance of the Reed Flutes
Dance of the Reed Pipes
Dance of the Shepherdesses
Marzipan
Opus numberOp. 71a
ComposerPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893)
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyD major
RangeD4–Bb6
Time signature2/4
Tempo72 BPM
Performance time2:05
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (90 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (6 kB) MP3 (1.5 MB)
Date added2009-11-25
Last updated2009-11-25
CategoriesBallet excerpts, Dance tunes, Romantic, Show-off pieces

Performances

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Wednesday 25 November 2009

Tune of the Day: Dance of the Mirlitons

from “The Nutcracker Suite” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Also known as “Dance of the Reed-Flutes”, or “Marzipan”, this is one of the most famous numbers from The Nutcracker. It was originally featured in the second act of the ballet, played immediately after the also popular “Russian Dance”.

If you are wondering what a “Mirliton” is, here's a short explanation. First of all, let's make it clear: the Cajun vegetable also known as chayote has nothing to do with this dance. The French title of the piece is “Danse des Mirlitons”, and in France a “mirliton” is a small pipe-like instrument, similar to a kazoo. This is a reference to the reed-pipes that the shepherdesses depicted in the scene might have played to their flocks.

The piece is featured in the classic 1940 Disney film Fantasia. Accompanied by this gentle music, colorful flower blossoms dance on air currents until they come to rest on the surface of a stream. There, they are transformed into dancers with billowing skirts. A light breeze disturbs their dance, swirling them across the water's surface and sweeping them over a waterfall.

Other Movements from the same Work

1.Overture Miniature Flute solo
2.March Flute solo
3.Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Flute & Piano
4.Russian Dance Flute solo
5.Arabian Dance Flute solo
6.Chinese Dance Flute solo
8.Waltz of the Flowers Flute solo