Niccolò Paganini: theme from 'The Carnival of Venice' ('O mamma, mamma cara') - My ukulele arrangement

In 1829 Niccolò Paganini wrote the “Variations for violin and orchestra op. 10” based on the venetian folk song ‘O mamma, mamma cara’.

The Carnival of Venice on Ukulele

The composition is based on a simple theme of a folk song, followed by a series of variations, all in the same key, which constitute a kind of synthesis of all the more difficult aspects of violin technique.

After Paganini, many other composers wrote variations on this theme song.

My arrangement

I used as a starting point the score for violin with piano accompaniment (from IMSLP), and I tried to ‘mixing’ the theme of the violin:

carnival theme

with the arpeggio played by the piano:

carnival piano

The result is pretty simple and easy to perform:

the carnival of venice ukulele

Here a video of my ukulele arrangement:

Some tips

In the transcript I inserted a few tips about the right hand: I recommend to using your thumb to play the notes on the downbeat of the accompanying voice, for having a rhythmic point of reference during the execution, and for emphasize the rhythmic structure of the musical phrasing.

the carnival of venice ukulele right hand

Ukulele score&tablature could be downloaded clicking the link below:


Published: January 25 2016