Let’s learn Danse Macabre!

This is my favourite Halloween music. I remember watching TV in the crunchy yellow of an October afternoon, waiting to get ready to go out with my plastic pumpkin, but mostly waiting for my scary music to come on. It always did.

I’ve found a very nice three-part ukulele performance score for a short version of it. Want to learn it to play at Cafe Blackbird before Halloween? I think we could be great. Come on, what are you afraid of?

Oh. Skeletons? Oh. Well. You have a point, probably.

The sheet music, arranged by D. Berrie, is in PDF format (see below). To help you practice on your own, I made sound files of each of the parts separately, plus one of all three parts playing together, so you could hear what it is supposed to sound like. Go ahead and download all of it if you like, and learn whatever parts you feel like doing. The people count below is just a guess about how many players we would need for the lead and second to be audible.

Lead Ukulele Part: (3 or 4 people – 20%)

  • Fingerpicking, some of it way up the fretboard. 15th fret, so make sure your instrument can handle it! (concert or tenor, longneck soprano)
  • Not too hard.
  • Melody in notation and tab.

Second Ukulele Part: (3 or 4 people – 20%)

  • Chording, some of it harmonically complex, but nothing super difficult.
  • Might be more challenging than the lead sheet, honestly.
  • Chords in notation, tab, and chord symbols. (If you need chord diagrams too, I’ll make a separate page for that, as it would be rather crowded.)

Third Ukulele Part: (Everybody who isn’t those other people already – 60%)

  • Reinforces the pizzicato (plucked string) sounds of what would have been the violins and violas of the orchestra.
  • So EASY your SKELETON GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMA is already a master!
  • Seriously, you could sight read it right now, I am not even teasing.
  • Harmony in notation and tab. If you don’t read tab, this will teach you!

Here’s the orchestral version:

Danse Macabre – Camille Saint-Saëns

And here is the music for us!

Sheet music: (won’t expire)






Sound files: (link expires November 1, so download before then if you want to keep them)

(click me)




2 thoughts on “Let’s learn Danse Macabre!

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