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WowoSpot Kids

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star | the story, lyrics and solfege

Who wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? This beloved song has become a must-have lullaby nowadays in children’s song playlists. The tune comes from a French folk song ah vous dirai – je ma, maman ( oh shall I tell you mama), written in the mid- 18th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart adapted the melody and composed twelve variations on it as a piano solo work when he was twenty-five, making this tune world famous.

By Lisa Ruping Cheng

Who wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star? This beloved song has become a must-have lullaby nowadays in children’s song playlists. The tune comes from a French folk song ah vous dirai – je ma, maman ( oh shall I tell you mama), written in the mid- 18th century. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart adapted the melody and composed twelve variations on it as a piano solo work when he was twenty-five, making this tune world famous.

How about the lyrics? English poet Jane Taylor’s poem written in 1806, The Star has formed the basis of the lyrics we are familiar with today:

Twinkle twinkle little star

How I wonder what you are

Up above the world so high

Like the diamond in the sky

Twinkle twinkle little star

How I wonder what you are

What I love about this song, other than the bright, simple and imaginary tune, is how “star” rhymes with “are” and “high” rhymes with “sky.” Brilliant.

The tune is based on six pitches: do, re, mi, fa, so, and la. One can see that the tune is made out of a C major chord with an added note of la.

A young child can be taught to sing this song in solfege to learn about basic pitches in music:

Do do so so la la so

Fa fa mi mi re re do

So so fa fa mi mi re

So so fa fa mi mi re

Do do so so la la so

Fa fa mi mi re re do

This helps young children establish the ability to identify the fundamental notes and pitches from C to A.

The Chinese lyrics I learned as a child is beautiful too:

一閃一閃亮晶晶 (twinkling and flashing)

滿天都是小星星 (the sky is full of little stars)

掛在天上放光明 (hung on the sky to illuminate bright light)

好像許多小眼睛 (like many little eyes)

一閃一閃亮晶晶 (twinkling and flashing)

滿天都是小星星 (the sky is full of little stars)

Music is indeed an universal language. In a way music connects different cultures and brings people together. Through music we realize how much human beings share the same beauty and treasure in life experiences.

Wowospot are keen to produce iconic children’s folk songs in the near future. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star will definitely be one of our top selections. Expect to hear it sung in English, solfege and Chinese!

Rapunzel | Classic Fairy Tales WowoSpot Kids

This episode is also available as a blog post: https://wowospot.ca/2022/07/04/rapunzel-the-red-fairy-book-by-andrew-lang/ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/lisa-ruping-cheng/message
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  3. Aesop's Fables | The Wolf and the Donkey
  4. Aesop's Fables | The Wolf and the Lean Dog
  5. Aesop’s Fables | The Owl and the Grasshopper

By Wowospot

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