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Für Elise

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"Für Elise" (meaning For Elise) is the popular title of the "Bagatelle in A minor". Ludwig van Beethoven wrote it in 1810. It is music for the piano. "Für Elise" is one of the most popular pieces of piano music in the world. Many young pianists want to learn to play it.

Nobody knows who Elise was. She might have been a lady called Therese whom Beethoven wanted to marry in 1810. Therese did not want to marry him. The piece was not published until 1865, a long time after Beethoven’s death.

The piece is in rondo form. There is a main section (A) which appears three times. Between these three sections there are two other sections (B and C), so the form of the piece can be described as: A B A C A.

The main section has a time signature of 3/8. It is based on arpeggios which flow from one hand to the other. This is the section that many beginner pianists want to play. The two middle sections are harder to play at the correct speed. They have fast scales, arpeggios and left hand demisemiquavers (32nd notes).


  • Woodstra, Chris. et al. 2005. All Music Guide to Classical Music. All Media Guide, LLC. p. 104. ISBN 0-87930-865-6

Other websites

  • Für Elise - and other Beethoven resources (includes the free sheet music)