Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 - Robert Schumann

Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 - Robert Schumann: A Summary

Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 is a solo piano piece by renowned German composer Robert Schumann, initially released in 1839 as part of his 'Davidsbündlertänze' suite and later popularised as an individual piece. It is a delicate and beautiful composition, renowned for its intense atmosphere and complex melodies.

History and Release

Robert Schumann was a leading composer in the romantic period, following Beethoven and influencing the development of music that followed him. Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 is one of his most renowned works, with its delicate and intricate melodies appealing to both audiences and performers alike.

Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 was originally released in 1839 by Schumann as part of his 'Davidsbündlertänze' suite. It is an eight-bar piece, composed entirely in C major and lasting just under a minute. Despite its relatively short playing time, the piece has since become a popular solo piece among pianists.


Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 starts with a slow, leisurely theme in the right hand, played against a steady bass in the left hand. Throughout the entire piece, the melody is constantly teased and developed - each time something new is added, creating an intricate, sense of anticipation.

Harmonically, the piece is relatively simple; it remains rooted in the key of C major throughout. This ensures that the piece is accessible to listeners, with the subdued approach adding to its poetic and romantic atmosphere.


Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 has become increasingly popular over the years, with its simple but beautiful melodies and warm atmosphere making it an appealing addition to many repertoires. Despite its delicate nature, the piece still contains a certain complexity that draws piano players to it, making it a rewarding challenge to perform.

The piece has also become popular on recordings and radio, often featured alongside other Schumann works and romantic period favourites. Its fame has spread and it is now part of the essential repertoires of many pianists across the world.


Arabesque in C major, Op. 18 is an iconic piece in the classical and romantic repertoire, with its simple but effective melodies and accessible harmony creating an effective atmosphere. It has become increasingly popular over the years due to its availability to both listener and performer, making it a highly iconic and appealing piece.

Publication date: 20. 02. 2023