Mozart in the ballroom

Minuet-trio contrast and the aristocracy in self-portrait

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A defining feature of Viennese ballroom minuets in the second half of the eighteenth century is the marked contrast between the first and second minuet (commonly called the trio). The type of contrast was standardised within a rather narrow and predictable range. Minuets were loud, employed the full orchestra and had walking bass lines in predominantly crotchet motion. Trios were soft, employed a reduced orchestra and used a slower harmonic rhythm. Focusing on Mozart's minuets written for the ballroom, an argument is advanced as to why such sharp contrast might have been desirable. Drawing on historical and analytical evidence, it is suggested that the music of the first minuet establishes the historical authority, political power and social status of the participants of the dance, while the trio is centred artistically on the grace and beauty displayed by the individual couple on the ballroom dance floor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-434
Number of pages52
JournalMusic Analysis
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005

Fingerprint

Aristocracy
Self-portrait
Trio
Ballroom
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Minuet
Dance
Crotchet
Harmonics
Grace
Social Status
Music
Authority
Political Power
Rhythm

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Music

Cite this

@article{3dff571656de42df885a30608d9efe0a,
title = "Mozart in the ballroom: Minuet-trio contrast and the aristocracy in self-portrait",
abstract = "A defining feature of Viennese ballroom minuets in the second half of the eighteenth century is the marked contrast between the first and second minuet (commonly called the trio). The type of contrast was standardised within a rather narrow and predictable range. Minuets were loud, employed the full orchestra and had walking bass lines in predominantly crotchet motion. Trios were soft, employed a reduced orchestra and used a slower harmonic rhythm. Focusing on Mozart's minuets written for the ballroom, an argument is advanced as to why such sharp contrast might have been desirable. Drawing on historical and analytical evidence, it is suggested that the music of the first minuet establishes the historical authority, political power and social status of the participants of the dance, while the trio is centred artistically on the grace and beauty displayed by the individual couple on the ballroom dance floor.",
author = "McKee, {Eric John}",
year = "2005",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1468-2249.2006.00226.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "24",
pages = "383--434",
journal = "Music Analysis",
issn = "0262-5245",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

Mozart in the ballroom : Minuet-trio contrast and the aristocracy in self-portrait. / McKee, Eric John.

In: Music Analysis, Vol. 24, No. 3, 01.10.2005, p. 383-434.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mozart in the ballroom

T2 - Minuet-trio contrast and the aristocracy in self-portrait

AU - McKee, Eric John

PY - 2005/10/1

Y1 - 2005/10/1

N2 - A defining feature of Viennese ballroom minuets in the second half of the eighteenth century is the marked contrast between the first and second minuet (commonly called the trio). The type of contrast was standardised within a rather narrow and predictable range. Minuets were loud, employed the full orchestra and had walking bass lines in predominantly crotchet motion. Trios were soft, employed a reduced orchestra and used a slower harmonic rhythm. Focusing on Mozart's minuets written for the ballroom, an argument is advanced as to why such sharp contrast might have been desirable. Drawing on historical and analytical evidence, it is suggested that the music of the first minuet establishes the historical authority, political power and social status of the participants of the dance, while the trio is centred artistically on the grace and beauty displayed by the individual couple on the ballroom dance floor.

AB - A defining feature of Viennese ballroom minuets in the second half of the eighteenth century is the marked contrast between the first and second minuet (commonly called the trio). The type of contrast was standardised within a rather narrow and predictable range. Minuets were loud, employed the full orchestra and had walking bass lines in predominantly crotchet motion. Trios were soft, employed a reduced orchestra and used a slower harmonic rhythm. Focusing on Mozart's minuets written for the ballroom, an argument is advanced as to why such sharp contrast might have been desirable. Drawing on historical and analytical evidence, it is suggested that the music of the first minuet establishes the historical authority, political power and social status of the participants of the dance, while the trio is centred artistically on the grace and beauty displayed by the individual couple on the ballroom dance floor.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=60949351515&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=60949351515&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1468-2249.2006.00226.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1468-2249.2006.00226.x

M3 - Article

VL - 24

SP - 383

EP - 434

JO - Music Analysis

JF - Music Analysis

SN - 0262-5245

IS - 3

ER -