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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 207 pages of information about Critical & Historical Essays.
The modifications of dance forms led up to our sonata, symphony, and symphonic poem, as I hope to show.  Opera was a thing apart, and, being untrammelled either by dance rhythms or church laws, developed gradually and normally.  It cannot, however, be said to have developed side by side with purely instrumental music, for the latter is only just beginning to emancipate itself from its dance clothes and to come forth as a language for the expression of all that is divine in man.  First we will consider the forms and rhythms of these dances, then the awakening of the idea of design in music, and its effect in modifying these forms and laying the foundation for the sonata of the nineteenth century.

The following shows the structure of the different dance forms up to about 1750.

OLD DANCE FORMS (1650-1750).

[   :Motive-|-Motive--|-Motive-----|--|-Motive---|--|-M
otive----|---] [2/4:  4 8 8 | 8. 16 4 | 8 8 8 8 | 4 4 | 4 8 8 | 4 4 | 8. 16 8 8 | 2 ] [ :------Phrase-----|----Phrase-----|---Phrase----|----Phr
ase-----] [A phrase may be three or four measures, and sections may be unequal] [ :-------------Section-------------|-----------Section---
--------] [ :------------------------------Period-------------------
--------]

  This period might be repeated or extended to sixteen measures
  and still remain a period.

1. |—­I P.-|—­II P.-|       (II is generally longer than I)
2. |---I---|---II---|--I--|
3. |—–­I—–­|—–­II—–­|-III-| (generally III resembles I)
4. |---I---|---II---|-III-|--I--|--II-| or |--I--|--II--|-III-|--I--|
5. |---I---|---II---|-III-|--IV-|
6. |---I---|---II---|-III-|--IV-|--I--|--II-|
7. |---I---|---II---|--I--|-III-|--IV-|-III-|--I--|--II--|--
I--|

In all these forms each period may be repeated.

Often the first, third, and fourth periods are repeated, leaving the second period as it is.  This happens especially when the second period is longer than the first.  In Nos. 2, 4, 6, 7, a few bars are often added at Fine as a coda.

ANALYSIS OF OLD DANCES

1.  SARABANDE.—­[3/2] [3/4] lento.  Rhythm [3/2:  2 ^2. 4 | 2 2].  Form 1, sometimes Form 2.  This is of Spanish origin (Saracen dance), and is generally accompanied by variations called partita or doubles.

2.  MUSETTE (cornemusa or bagpipe).—­[3/4] [2/4] allegretto.  Form 1.  Always written over or under a pedal note, which is generally sustained to the end.  It generally forms the second part (not period) to the gavotte.

3.  GAVOTTE.—­[4/4] allegro moderato.  Rhythm [4/4:  4 4 | 4 8 8 4 4] or [4 8 8 | 4 4 4 4].  Always commences on the third beat.  Form 3 or 5.  When accompanied by a musette, the gavotte is always repeated.

4.  BOURREE.—­[C/2] allegro.  Rhythm [C/2:  8 8 | 4 4 4 8 8].  Form 3 or 5.  Generally faster than the gavotte, and commences on the fourth beat.

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