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Thread: Suites

  1. #1
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    I read about this a few months back...Here is a recollection of this interesting article.
    The term suite refers to a type of composition comprising a series of movements in identical or related keys with common musical ideas.
    The earliest use of this term in its context originated from the European Dances ( such as pavane, galliard, sarabande, allemande, courante, gigue ) that date as far back as the 1400s. But then they appeared as separate dances, instead of parts of a bigger programme that we know of today.
    J.J. Froberger, a German composer combined these dances into a regular cosmopolitan pattern, which, with various options, formed the basis for Baroque Instrumental suites. This suites became the mainstay of the Baroque until they were overtaken by the Sonata form in the Classical era.
    Sometimes a suite will be prefaced by a prelude, which is also more fancifully described as fantasia, overture or fanfare. And the suite itself was also variously known in different languages-Ordres in French, Partitas in German and Italian, and Lessons in English.
    The basic layout of a Baroque suite is as follows:Allemande( German in origin ), Courante ( French in origin), Sarabande( Spanish in origin ), Gavotte/Bouree ( French in origin ) and gigue, also known as jig ( English in origin).
    Additional movements include the minuet( French Dance from Poitou ) and Musette.
    The movements that are French in style are comparitively slower, less contrapuntal, more intimate in style and elaborative in decorations. They also adopt slower time signatures such as 3/2 or 6/4, rather than the German faster 3/4 or 6/8.
    And Suites 'Italian' in style will adopt the Italian Concertante texture and structure, with more than often, a large ritornello in its many episodes.

    Alot of interesting facts were brought up in that article...but here are the main points that maybe one ought to know.
    So the next time u play Bach's suites...Think of them as Dances, that would definately make more sense.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Yes in suites you must imagine that every piece has his own character: Allemande means "German" dance, Courante= the "Running one"..... I love suites, Bach and especially Rameau! He is awesome. He integrated other charactical pieces like "the hen" .....

    By the way. Composing a Suite is also a very nice thing. You will study this suite structure which is really rare done today. I tried that out and wrote one, maybe i could post it here....

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    You will study this suite structure which is really rare done today. I tried that out and wrote one, maybe i could post it here....
    I'm all ears.
    I want to listen to yr film music file also. But my jukebox player is really cranky now. It doesn't seems to work. :angry:
    I'll keep on trying.

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    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Try it with windows media player, should work also, or use Winamp
    Ok then i will post this suite...

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by DW@Jul 26 2004, 02:17 PM

    So the next time u play Bach's suites...Think of them as Dances, that would definately make more sense.
    [snapback]512[/snapback]
    And it does!!!
    ~*~The Angel of Music Sings Songs In Your Head~*~

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    Senior Member oistrach13's Avatar
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    yes, that does work, except with sarabandes, they make me all mushy and warm and fuzzy :unsure:

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    Originally posted by daniel@Jul 26 2004, 03:49 PM
    Yes in suites you must imagine that every piece has his own character: Allemande means "German" dance, Courante= the "Running one"..... I love suites, Bach and especially Rameau! He is awesome. He integrated other charactical pieces like "the hen" .....

    By the way. Composing a Suite is also a very nice thing. You will study this suite structure which is really rare done today. I tried that out and wrote one, maybe i could post it here....
    [snapback]516[/snapback]
    I'm very interested in learning about suites. I think that's probably the kind of music I would enjoy most to compose. I love Bach's first two Orchestral Suites! The only piece I've heard by Rameau is the "Tamborin" but that is one of my favorite Baroque pieces.

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    yes, that does work, except with sarabandes, they make me all mushy and warm and fuzzy
    LOL...

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