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Decorum of the Minuet, Delirium of the Waltz

A Study of Dance-Music Relations in 3/4 Time

Decorum of the Minuet, Delirium of the Waltz by Eric J. McKee
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Much music was written for the two most important dances of the 18th and 19th centuries, the minuet and the waltz. In Decorum of the Minuet, Delirium of the Waltz, Eric McKee argues that to better understand the musical structures and expressive meanings of this dance music, one must be aware of the social contexts and bodily rhythms of the social dances upon which it is based. McKee approaches dance music as a component of a multimedia art form that involves the interaction of physical motion, music, architecture, and dress. Moreover, the activity of attending a ball involves a dynamic network of modalities—sight, sound, bodily awareness, touch, and smell, which can be experienced from the perspectives of a dancer, a spectator, or a musician. McKee considers dance music within a larger system of signifiers and points-of-view that opens new avenues of interpretation.

Indiana University Press; November 2011
272 pages; ISBN 9780253028044
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Title: Decorum of the Minuet, Delirium of the Waltz
Author: Eric J. McKee