The Waltz first became popular in and around Vienna in the 1790’s
Slow harmonic pace. The same chord is generally used throughout an entire bar, often 2 bars and sometimes up to 4 bars.
Simple harmonies (usually using the primary chords) made a bit more interesting by including gently dissonant appoggiaturas and chromatic notes.
Homophonic. Simple melody lines with supportive accompaniment
The accompaniment is often described as “Oom Cha Cha”. The bass note of the chord is played on the first beat followed by the second and third.
Waltzes were seen as very risqué for the time as partners had to hold each other close. Before the Waltz, partners, if touching at all, were held at arms length. Critics thought the Waltz to be immoral.
Early Waltzes were simple, in a Binary form-AABB but changed to become more complex
1825, became very popular due to Orchestras getting larger and more sophisticated melody and harmony.
An introduction became popular, this gave people time to get into position before the music started properly.
Waltzes became much more substantial and where given names to make them more memorable.
An important feature of a Waltz is the use of rubato. This means the second beat of the bar (the first ‘Cha’) is played slightly early. The effect it has in a waltz is to make it move on and sound even more lively.
Viennese Waltzes were played by large orchestras.
Johann and Johann II Strauss
Waltzes became so popular during the 19 th century, they started to be written into other types of music...
people liked to play them at home on their pianos. Shubert, Schumann, Weber, Chopin and Brahms all composed Waltzes for the Piano
Waltzes were also incorporated into large orchestral works. Berlioz, Ravel and Tchaikovsky all did this.
Tchaikovsky and Delibes included waltzes in ballets
Waltzes have been used in musicals into the 20 th century
Oliver - Um Pah Pah
Some questions for you...
Describe the rhythm of a Waltz
What does tempo rubato mean?
Where did the Waltz rise to fame?
What does Homophonic mean?
What instrument did people play the Waltz on in their own home?
How would you describe the harmonic rhythm of a waltz?