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MUSIC HISTORY

 

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Dance in Classical Music

 

Dance and classical music have an interwoven history.Both originated as rituals and rhythms, as part of war preparations,

ceremonies, and fertility rites.Dances developed alongside new

 

types of music throughout all the major periods of music history.

 

Early Music Period (400-1600)

 

Some of the earliest dances were processional Court dances, while couples dancing became more common in the 12th century.In the 15th century, one of the most popular dances was the basse dance, a stately and measured dance with low gliding steps.Couples from the nobility would take part in these dances to display their breeding and culture.

 

When the basse dance went out of style it was replaced with an adaptation called the pavane.This dance too was used at ceremonial balls and as a display of elegant dress.Its main type of movement consisted of forward and backward steps usually to 4/4 time.The pavane was usually followed up with the galliard, a more vigorous dance with showy high leaps and hopping steps.

 

Aside from the dances of the nobility, the first ballet also was performed in 1489.A ballet is a story told through dance and music together, using virtuoso techniques and precise movement.Ballets often may use opera, costumes, scenery, and instrumental accompaniment.

 

Baroque Period (1600-1750)

 

(More information on dances to come shortly! 1/24/06)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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