How Music Means — The Dance (at Mary Winspear Centre)


Course description

The various kinds of dance music—courtly dances of the French Baroque, urban salon and ballroom dances, rustic dances of the peasantry—have influenced classical composers for centuries. Given their associations in terms of emotion, bodily movement, social class and so on, dance “topics” have profound implications in terms of musical meaning, which composers of theatrical, church, concert and domestic music have always exploited. This course introduces the plethora of dance types that fed into classical music of the common-practice period, and shows how different composers—Mozart and Haydn, Schubert and Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Mahler—drew on them to enrich their work.

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