Love 'The Nutcracker March?' Learn More About the Song Here

Learn about this classical ballet music

Dancer Andrew Bartee as the Nutcracker in the fight scene from PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker.
Pacific Northwest Ballet corps de ballet dancer Andrew Bartee as the Nutcracker in the fight scene from PNB's Stowell/Sendak Nutcracker. Photo © Angela Sterling

The march, from "The Nutcracker," is one of the most well-known and recognized melodies of Tchaikovsky's famous ballet. The actual title of the piece is "March," but most people refer to it as "The Nutcracker March." 

It is also referred to "The March of the Nutcracker." 

The song appears early in the first act of the ballet. It's the third song in the acts, just after the mini-overture that kicks off the show and "Scene: The Christmas Tree," played during the lighting and decorating of the Christmas tree.

 

The "March" music plays during a lively party scene, which includes dancing, games, and merriment. The cheerful rhythm of the piece helps create a feeling of celebration among the holiday partygoers.

For people who have made seeing "The Nutcracker" a part of their holiday traditions, this song brings up a lot of memories and is a fun way to mark the beginning of the performance.  

Modern Appearances

The music from "The Nutcracker" has been arranged and recorded by many famous orchestras over the years. 

The music has also appeared in a long list of film and television adaptations of "The Nutcracker," as well as other, unrelated productions. For example, music from "The Nutcracker Suite" famously appeared in the classic Disney animation, "Fantasia." 

The music has also appeared in various video games and other recordings. 

Also referred to as Marche (in French),  Марш (in Russian)

Learn more about "The Nutcracker" here. Curious about the history of "The Nutcracker?" Read more about the history here.