Children's Notebook

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Children's Notebook (Op. 69) is a set of seven solo pieces for piano composed by Dmitri Shostakovich in 1944–1945. The selections were chosen from pieces written by the composer to his daughter, Galina Shostakovich, for her piano studies. Only six of them were originally published under this title in 1945 ; the seventh piece ("Birthday", written for his daughter's ninth birthday in 1945) was appended in 1983 to the collection.[1]

The sixth piece in the set ("Clockwork Doll") echoes the motif used in Shostakovich's first composition, his Scherzo for Orchestra in F minor (Op. 1). "Birthday" (the seventh piece) begins with a motif which foreshadows the fanfare motif at the beginning of Shostakovich's Festival Overture (Op. 96).[2]

Unlike Béla Bartók, Shostakovich did not show interest in composing with pedagogical purposes, or giving piano lessons. His eight-year-old daughter Galina was starting to play the piano. The composer promised his daughter that as soon she mastered one piece he would compose another.[3] Shostakovich recorded all of them during the 1947 Prague Spring Festival.[3]


  1. March
  2. Valse
  3. The Bear
  4. Merry Tale
  5. Sad Tale
  6. The Clockwork Doll
  7. Birthday (published in 1983)


  1. ^ Fay, Laurel E. (2005). Shostakovich: A Life. Oxford University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-19-518251-4.
  2. ^ Fay, Laurel E. (2005). Shostakovich: A Life. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-19-518251-4.
  3. ^ a b Moshevich, Sofia (28 May 2015). Shostakovich's Music for Piano Solo: Interpretation and Performance. Indiana University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-253-01431-3.
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