Alouettè is a traditional French-Canadian song that is used to teach the parts of the body to children. Singers will point to or touch the part of their body that corresponds to the word being sung in the song. It has become a symbol of French Canada for the world, an unofficial national song. The song’s lyrics are about plucking the feathers of a lark as part of the preparation for cooking. The earliest known printing of the piece is from an 1879 publication of A Pocket Song Book for the Use of Students and Graduates of McGill College. A facsimile of the page is included in this edition, with kind permission and courtesy of McGill University. The melody is somewhat different in the 1879 publication than what is currently performed, and it is not known when that change took place. Many traditional pieces have variations of their melody. James L. King has arrangements of both the commonly known melody and the original as printed in 1879.
Students will get experience with polyphonic melodies in preparation for Baroque era pieces as well as dynamics and articluations (tenutos, staccatos, and accents are included), double-dotted notes and will get an opportunity to interpret the irregular rhythms and meters found in the original version.
Key: C Major
Mood: light, bouncy
Pedagogy: polyphonic playing style, double-dotted notes, tenuto, staccato, accent, dynamics.