In today’s tutorial video I thought I’d share a much loved classic, Can’t Help Falling In Love. The history of this song goes back much further than we think. Most of us think instantly of Elvis Presley in 1961 but the roots of this song actually reach all the way back to 1784! The melody is based on a popular French love song composed in 1784 by Jean-Paul Martini called “Plaisir D’Amour”. As in much of musical history, many songs are reflections of songs that have existed and been loved for many years and, in this case, centuries. Dvorak also often wrote music ‘quoting’ folk melodies that he heard on his travels incorporating them into his works. One famous example of this in the cello world is the Largo movement from Dvorak’s New World Symphony. This popular song has its roots in a song called “Going Home”. I find it fascinating to see how intricately intertwined music is and how many of the melodies we hear today are hundreds of years old. I love how composers use them and keep them in our hearts and minds year after year. Now back to Can’t Help Falling In Love. This song, written by Hugo Peretti, Lugi Creatore and George Weiss (inspired by “Plaisir D’Amour”), was first recorded by Elvis Presley for his Blue Hawaii album. It’s beautiful melody has stood the test of time for almost 60 years, truly spectacular! Often I play at weddings and receptions and this song is always well received by young and old alike.

In today’s tutorial, the version I’m presenting is in C Major. This means there are no sharps or flats in the key signature. As such, you will need two key hand shapes to play this song; a 1, 3, 4 hand shape and a 1, 2, 4 hand shape. If you can play both these shapes and are comfortable in first position you can most certainly play Can’t Help Falling in Love. Regarding the bow hand, the main bowing principle is a nice sustained bow sound called legato. This movement of the bow requires the ability to play from frog to tip with a nice even tone. I start the video with a quick review of the second octave of the C Major scale descending from the top note of C to familiarize the hand with most of the notes it will be using. After that I move on to present the ‘A’ section then the ‘B’ section of the song so you can learn them independently before you combine them into a whole piece. I find this construct works well in my teaching studio so be sure to accomplish each section before combining them. With that lets get started!

I hope you enjoy the tutorial of Can’t Help Falling In Love and enjoy adding into your cello repertoire!

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