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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Lori, homeschool mom, songwriter/musician and private music teacher:
Just wanted to say "thank you" for this site and for all of your dedication and hard work! I have literally combed the internet for months on end to find free and "doable" resources for my young students and for my own children... I will be returning to this site over and over again from here on out and am excited to present some of the tools I found today on here to my voice and piano students later this week! My thirteen-year old son is happily, as I type, working with the guitar chord sheets I just printed for him!

Miggy, United Kingdom:
I've just found your website and I think I've died and gone to heaven. I've just taken up the piano again after 35 years absence... buying sheet music was getting expensive/a luxury. The tips are great too. I also live in the middle of nowhere so buying from a shop is not really an option unless I fancy a 120 mile round trip for a piece of sheet music!

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Shanette, US:
I just purchased O Holy Night to use as a duet for Christmas Eve Mass.  Thank you so much for this simple, easy to read version as my vocalists are not professional and this music won't be quite so intimidating as other arrangements I have. Your expertise is much appreciated!!  Merry Christmas!

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