Tarantelle, the Spider Dance

Tarantelle and Tarantella are names for fast-moving, exciting pieces based on folk music.   The compositions I have heard always sound like dances to me.



There are at least 195 Tarantelles and Tarantellas listed at IMSLP, but the version I remember from my childhood came from a John Schaum book with pictures of a boy madly dancing after being bitten by a spider - a tarantula.  Here is an easy shared-hands version, with lyrics!

Tarantelle dance for beginning piano

Tarantelle song, with lyrics about a spider

Download Tarantelle for beginner piano, shared-hands melody

Download the same arrangement, with just a few "helper notes" - letters inside the noteheads

The main difficulty with this piece for a beginner is the 3-4 time signature.  Somehow, three beats are always harder for young kids to feel (at first). Also, on page 2, the unexpected black notes may throw your little guys off.  But this is good practice for their reading.  

Here is a Secondo part, if you wish to turn this little piece into a duet:

The Spider Dance Tarantelle for beginners, with secondo

Duet secondo for Tarantelle folk song for beginning piano

Download secondo duet part for Tarantelle folk song

And here is a solo, very like the one I loved as a child:

Piano solo Tarantelle

Piano solo Tarantelle for elementary piano

Download piano solo Tarantelle

Your young students are going to love this song!




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