minuet


minuet
/min'yooh et"/, n.
1. a slow, stately dance in triple meter, popular in the 17th and 18th centuries.
2. a piece of music for such a dance or in its rhythm.
[1665-75; < F menuet, equiv. to menu small (see MENU) + -et -ET; so called from the shortness of the dancers' steps]

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Dignified couple dance derived from a French folk dance, dominant in European court ballrooms in the 17th–18th century.

Using small, slow steps to music in 34 time, dancers often performed choreographed figures combined with stylized bows and curtsies. The most popular dance of the 18th-century aristocracy, it fell from favour after the French Revolution in 1789. It was of great importance in art music; commonly incorporated into the suite с 1650–1775, it was the only dance form retained in the symphony, sonata, string quartet, and other multimovement art-music genres up to с 1800.

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dance
      (from French menu: “small”), elegant couple dance that dominated aristocratic European ballrooms, especially in France and England, from c. 1650 to c. 1750. Reputedly derived from the French folk dance branle de Poitou, the court minuet used smaller steps and became slower and increasingly etiquette-laden and spectacular. It was especially popular at the court of Louis XIV of France. Dancers, in the order of their social position, often performed versions with especially choreographed figures, or floor patterns, and prefaced the dance with stylized bows and curtsies to partners and spectators. The basic floor pattern outlined by the dancers was at first a figure 8 and, later, the letter Z.

      Musically, the minuet is in moderate triple time (as 3/4 or 3/8) with two sections: minuet and trio (actually a second minuet, originally for three instruments; it derives from the ballroom practice of alternating two minuets). Each consists of two repeated phrases (AA–BB), but the repetition may be varied (AA′–BB′). The overall form is minuet–trio–minuet. The minuet frequently appears in 18th-century suites (groups of dance pieces in the same key), and in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni onstage musicians play a minuet in the fourth act. Typically, the third movement of a Classical chamber work (e.g., string quartet) or symphony is a minuet. In most of his symphonies Beethoven replaced the minuet with a scherzo (although he did not always use that term as a designation for the movement), similar or identical in form but much faster and more exuberant. Neoclassical examples of the minuet include Johannes Brahms's Serenade No. 1 for orchestra, Opus 11 (1857–58), and Arnold Schoenberg's Piano Suite, Opus 25 (1923).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • minuet — ► NOUN ▪ a stately ballroom dance in triple time, popular in the 18th century. ► VERB (minueted, minueting) ▪ dance a minuet. ORIGIN from French menuet fine, delicate …   English terms dictionary

  • Minuet — Min u*et, n. [F., fr. menu small, L. minutus small. So called on account of the short steps of the dance. See 4th {Minute}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A slow graceful dance consisting of a coupee, a high step, and a balance. [1913 Webster] 2. (Mus.) A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • minuet — англ. [миньюэ/т] minuetto ит. [минуэ/тто] менуэт …   Словарь иностранных музыкальных терминов

  • minuet — (n.) slow dance in triple measure, 1670s, from Fr. menuet, from O.Fr. menuet (adj.) small, fine, delicate, narrow, from menu small, from L. minutus small, minute (see MINUTE (Cf. minute) (adj.)). So called from the short steps taken in the dance …   Etymology dictionary

  • minuet — [min΄yo͞o et′] n. [Fr menuet, orig., minute, tiny < OFr < menu (see MENU): from the small steps taken] 1. a slow, stately dance for groups of couples, introduced in France in the 17th cent. 2. the music for this, in 3/4 time: often a… …   English World dictionary

  • Minuet — For other uses, see Minuet (disambiguation). Minuet. A minuet, also spelled menuet, is a social dance of French origin for two people, usually in 3/4 time. The word was adapted from Italian minuetto and French menuet, and may have been from… …   Wikipedia

  • minuet — n. to dance; play a minuet * * * play a minuet to dance …   Combinatory dictionary

  • minuet — [[t]mɪ̱njue̱t[/t]] minuets 1) N COUNT In the music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a minuet is a piece of music with three beats in a bar which is played at moderate speed. 2) N COUNT A minuet is a fairly slow and formal dance which… …   English dictionary

  • minuet — noun a stately ballroom dance in triple time, popular in the 18th century. ↘a piece of music in triple time in the style of a minuet, typically as a movement in a suite, sonata, or symphony. verb (minuets, minueting, minueted) dance a minuet.… …   English new terms dictionary

  • minuet — UK [ˌmɪnjuˈet] / US noun [countable] Word forms minuet : singular minuet plural minuets music a slow dance that was popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, done by a man and woman together, or the music for this dance …   English dictionary


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