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Differences between "piano dances"
#3026160 09/17/20 08:43 PM
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As we all know, when playing the piano we've all met pieces with uknown to us names that have a specific rythm; turns out that most of them are dances! From the famous valse to the less famous ecosaisses everyone has seen such pieces. Though I do not understand one thing; the differences between them. As dances they are indeed different but musically speaking they are all very similar! Especially the 3/4 time dances. For example the valse and mazurka are completely identical (even the polka is extremely similar to those)! What differentiates these two other than the origin? (Central european, eastern european) Not only that but there are tons of dances that need explanation composition, musically and playing wise! Here are some of the most well known! I'd love to see the discussions and explanations! It's truly intruiging!

allemande
scherzo
sarabande
polka
mazurka
polonaise
valse
landler
ecosaisses
minuette
passepied
courante

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026169 09/17/20 09:32 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I suggest you do some internet research, including YouTube videos to understand the differences among the dances. For example, a mazurka can be a mazur, a krakowiak or an oberek. Each has a different tempo and character.

A Polish mazur is most definitely not identical to a Viennese waltz. In a waltz, the emphasized beat is on the first note of each measure. In a mazur, it is on the 2nd or 3rd beat.

I agree, it is quite interesting.


Best regards,

Deborah
Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026172 09/17/20 09:39 PM
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The waltz and the mazurka are not identical: the waltz has the first beat as the strong beat, the Mazurka has the second beat as the strong beat

Robert Estrin demonstrates
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pTu3VsaZ4XA

I think it helps to see the mazurka danced
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tR3oOmvx5ew


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Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026178 09/17/20 10:33 PM
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Yes, my teacher always has me imagine dancing to a waltz (which I know how) to get the “feel” of how to play a waltz piano piece. With dances I’m not familiar, I was told to Google the dance to understand how it’s danced and get a general “feel” for it, so I can translate it to the piano. This has worked quite well for me.


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Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026182 09/17/20 11:13 PM
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I don't think a scherzo is a dance. Someone will prove me wrong perhaps.

Look them up on the www. There are plenty of examples on Youtube.

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
CharlesXX #3026192 09/18/20 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlesXX
I don't think a scherzo is a dance. Someone will prove me wrong perhaps.

Look them up on the www. There are plenty of examples on Youtube.

Scherzo is Italian for "joke" and originally, a scherzo was a light and lively piece of music.

In the classical period, a scherzo was used as a movement of a piece in classical Sonata form, typically replacing a Minuet. A minuet is a dance form, and this rendition of a scherzo inherited some properties of a dance rhythm.

Chopin composed stand-alone Scherzi, as have some other composers (eg Stravinsky's Scherzo Fantastique).


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Re: Differences between "piano dances"
dogperson #3026213 09/18/20 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
The waltz and the mazurka are not identical: the waltz has the first beat as the strong beat, the Mazurka has the second beat as the strong beat

Robert Estrin demonstrates
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pTu3VsaZ4XA

I think it helps to see the mazurka danced
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tR3oOmvx5ew

Robert Estrin is wrong on this one. A mazurka can stress on beat 1, 2, or 3. It varies. And that's not the only difference between waltzes and mazurkas.

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026223 09/18/20 03:21 AM
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This lecture may help you

https://youtu.be/EkENRC8GEfA

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026239 09/18/20 04:06 AM
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There are numerous differences, in terms of usual tempo, which beat is accentuated, typical rythmic structure. For example both the minuet and the sarabande are in ternary rythm, but the tempo is different. The sarabande is slower and the second beat is extended, the third one shortened, when in a minuet the 3 beats are of equal duration, and the tempo is moderate or brisk. If you listen to both you will hear the differences.

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Sweelinck #3026240 09/18/20 04:07 AM
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My teacher told me it was a dance... She was mistaken... Thank you for clearing that up for me!^-^

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026246 09/18/20 04:27 AM
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Guys thank you all for your advice and for trying to help! But I have to clear something up! If I hadn't already searched google for my questions and have found answers I wouldn't have made this thread! The internet for me just doesn't do it! Their answers are either way too simplistic or explained in a weird manner. Which is the reason why I made this thread! Also let me note that I haven't put dances I understand the differences of (eg pavane. Its a really straightforward piece and quite different).

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Sidokar #3026250 09/18/20 04:41 AM
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Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate it!^^ Thats really good to know!^-^

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026403 09/18/20 01:45 PM
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Though I think it would be really nice if someone could explain the differences between the 3 most similar dances; Valse, Polonaise and Mazurka.

Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026415 09/18/20 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Small Pianist 66
Though I think it would be really nice if someone could explain the differences between the 3 most similar dances; Valse, Polonaise and Mazurka.

Wikipedia has some very good, quite detailed descriptions of these dance forms, including examples of the rhythmic patterns that differentiate them, with musical examples as well. It seems to me that you would be well-informed if you read those descriptions. Otherwise, it would take a lot of writing on the part of members here to go into the detail that Wikipedia already covers.

Failing that, a good music dictionary will also give you descriptions of these individual forms.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026453 09/18/20 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Small Pianist 66
Though I think it would be really nice if someone could explain the differences between the 3 most similar dances; Valse, Polonaise and Mazurka.
I suggest you listen to an example of each by Freddy: Op.18 (Valse), Op.40/1 (Polonaise), Op.7/1 (Mazurka).

The differences should be quite obvious. Try using (and writing down) your own descriptions of the character of each form, if you find wiki's too confusing.


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Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Small Pianist 66 #3026458 09/18/20 04:08 PM
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A polonaise is a 3/4 rhythm that accents the 2nd beat and generally has a couplet of 16th notes leading into the 2nd beat. The pair of 16th notes would be a pure polonaise. Sometimes a single 16th note lead-in is used. Chopin used a single lead-in for the main theme of the Polonaise in A, Op. 40 #1 (Military Polonaise) and the pure polonaise rhythm for the middle section theme.

It is traditional to delay the start of the 16th notes and then rush them so that the 2nd beat is still played in time. This creates the possibility of a subjective aesthetic for whether the polonaise rhythm is "properly executed".


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Re: Differences between "piano dances"
Sweelinck #3026516 09/18/20 06:38 PM
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Thank you so much! That's actually such a nice explanation! Now that's clear to me! You were really helpful! Best of wishes to you!


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