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Thread: Menuet a Dance???

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    Default Menuet a Dance???

    HI,

    Listening to Haydn's The Clock (menuet) made me wonder if in fact menuet is a type of dance? Also is menuet the same as minuet?

    How would one count the time/rythym of a waltz? 123, 123, 123...???

    Peace
    Hawk

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    I just looked it up on line and found the answer to my question. What would a trained/experienced listener hear that would indicate the pice was a menuet? Is it in the timing?

    Peace
    Hawk
    Peace
    Hawk

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Dear hawk

    The thing you must understand is that in the begining, music was created for roughly two purposes, singing and dancing.

    The symphony was then created to supply the wealthy with "music for music's sake". This was a simple fast-slow-fast set up with additional movements built in around the structure. In other words - the basics were there, but without the meat of an extra movement, the symphony was just a simple structure that was expanded upon without a standard idea to help these poor composers.

    Then Haydn came along and decided that a symphony had to hark back to the origins of music and thus inserted a fourth movement that would fit in between the slow movement and the finale. This was a dance - most likley a minuet in the classical period (a steady 3/4).

    Therefore a minuet is most likely going to be classical because after this period it was developed and transformed into the Deutcher (a faster minuet) by Shubert and a scherzo (a fast musical joke) by Beethoven. It can be also argued that the minuet is the predecessor of the waltz which is of course, much faster!

    The dance section of the symphony has changed over time due to changes in fashion and tastes. For example, in the first part of the 20th centuary, the dance and slow movement of a symphony had been swopped around. The important thing to note is that it all started out with the minuet.

    This information will mean nothing to you unless you listen to some examples of minuets - might I recommend Mozart Symphonies? - Then you can post a response in that exelent thread "Favourite Mozart Works"
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Im suddenly reminded of the third movement of Beethoven's First Symphony...

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    I'm not at all an experienced listener, but I can usually tell if it's a minuet or not. (Yes, it's the beat/timing.) As Elgar rightly pointed out, you are bound to listen to most minuets from the Classical era. I also suggest some string quartets (and symphonies) by Haydn and Mozart.
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    In French we call the minuet, un "menuet".... not helpful, sorry (!) but thanks for your question because the responses were interesting!

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    Senior Member Handel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Elgar View Post

    Then Haydn came along and decided that a symphony had to hark back to the origins of music and thus inserted a fourth movement that would fit in between the slow movement and the finale. This was a dance - most likley a minuet in the classical period (a steady 3/4).

    Therefore a minuet is most likely going to be classical because after this period it was developed and transformed into the Deutcher (a faster minuet) by Shubert and a scherzo (a fast musical joke) by Beethoven. It can be also argued that the minuet is the predecessor of the waltz which is of course, much faster!"
    Good answer,

    However, it is not Haydn who added the 4th part to the symphony. Guys like Stamitz and CPE Bach did it before him...

    With time, the symphonic menuet became less a dance than a symphonic movement in it's own right.
    At first, I discovered the wonders of classical music through the marvels of its baroque period and especially those from Mr. Handel, which explain my forum nickname. About 10 years ago, my interest leaned over classical period and Herr Haydn's production. The music bus recently drove me to the early 1800s. Where will it end?

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    Would someone please explain what is meant by a musical joke? Thanks
    Peace
    Hawk

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    Im not sure, though that's the statement that reminded me of the third mov't of Beethoven 1.

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawk View Post
    Would someone please explain what is meant by a musical joke? Thanks
    Now a musical joke can mean a lot of things - in Beethovens day it was a playful 6/8, but it developed into something quite aggressive. Therefore you could also describe it as sadistic joke.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    So the term "joke" refers to the timing of the piece? Does it imply a light happy feel to the music?
    Peace
    Hawk

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    The term joke refers to the general feel of the music - listen to some well known examples:

    Beethoven No.9 - Second movement
    Shostakovich No.5 - Second movement
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    Thanks Edward E.
    My wife, at a yardsale, found quite a collection of classical music cassettes from the
    1980's. Mozart, Handel, Haydn, Beethoven (No 9 included) I will have a listen to this one!
    Peace
    Hawk

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    Senior Member Frasier's Avatar
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    The easiest way to tell a classical minuet is by its form. It's divided into three sections:

    1 - Minuet
    2 - Trio
    3 - Minuet

    The first part is usually divided into two subsections, each is repeated. This leads into the trio which is also repeated. Finally a return to the minuet, its two sections are played straight through without repeats this time.

    .

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    As I read this I am listening to Haydn's Symphony 101. Your explanation Frasier helps quite a bit! Thanks!
    Peace
    Hawk

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