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Roots of the ClassicalThe Popular Origins of Western Music$
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Peter Van der Merwe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198166474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198166474.001.0001

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The Dances of Central Europe

The Dances of Central Europe

(p.231) 12 The Dances of Central Europe
Roots of the Classical

Peter van der Merwe

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals briefly with the polka and its musical relatives, and with the waltz in detail. It traces the history of these dances from primitive beginnings, showing how increasing length and complexity (of melody, harmony, and rhythm alike) coexisted with an underlying simplicity. The waltz ‘suite’ of successive tunes (e.g., Johann Strauss's ‘Blue Danube’) is discussed, pointing out the subtle unifying devices employed by the great waltz composers.

Keywords:   dances, polka, waltz, waltz suite, melody, harmony, Johann Strauss

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