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So I have seen this on occasion and I have always wondered about it. Some sections of piano-only sheet music are marked "Trio". Yet, on the sheet music wherein I see there, there is no music for any other instrumental parts.

Why is two-handed piano music marked "Trio"?

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Haha, I remember when I had the same question for the same reason. Yes, trio does mean that there are three instruments as one common meaning we all know, but there is also another meaning. It's a musical form. Often we see it as "Minuet and Trio"

This one's graphics may be useful.
https://spinditty.com/genres/A-Guide-to-the-Minuet-and-Trio

It's sort of like you have a binary A:B --- A:B - and then another part got stuck in that is totally different in character, so this "third part", the odd duckling, got called the "Trio".

This is probably not the best video but it's what I could find right now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BU0hBx1MwqY&ab_channel=TheGreenReviews

I'm sure others can give a better answer.

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Maybe this is a solo piano version of a trio.



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The middle section of a piece in ternary form (ABA), especially when the piece is a dance, is often called the "trio" section, because I think, historically, it might have featured three instruments.

Now, it simply means the contrasting middle section (B) in ternary (ABA) form.

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What TwoSnowflakes said - same idea as what I wrote. I think I do remember now, something about three instruments originally.

The problem is that "trio" has two entirely different meanings in music.

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Also keep in mind that many of the minuets (and "trios") that tend to show up in beginner/intermediate piano books -- e.g., several by Mozart and Beethoven (including his famous "Minuet in G") -- were originally written for string instruments.


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