Waltz History

Updated: Aug 25

Waltz music, is dance music in triple meter time often written as 3/4 time or perfect time. Probably German is origin. A waltz typically sounds one chord per measure, and the accompaniment style particularly associated with the waltz is to play the root of the chord on the first beat, the upper notes on the second and third beats.

Waltz dance is not so clear cut, we have the Viennese Waltz often described as the original waltz, the International Waltz, American Waltz, Classical Sequence Waltz, Argentine Vals, as well as country and folk waltz’s. and to make matters more difficult the waltz steps are not always danced in 3/4 time for example in Wedgwood Blue gavotte the music is in 4/4 and in the Boston Two Step the music is in 2/4.

The history as you can imagine is very different for these styles of dance. The general consensus is that like the music, it devloped from folk dances of the area known today as Germany and Austria between 13th and 18th century.

We know from documentation that the embrace of the modern day Ballroom waltz was being dance in some form in the 1500, and that a dance called the Waltzer, a dance for couples, was being danced in Bavaria around 1750. We also know that it became fashionable in Vienna around the 1780s, and that it firat came to England around 1791 and became fashionable around the regency period.

By the 19th and early 20th century, numerous different waltz forms existed, including versions performed in 3/4, 3/8 and 6/8 5/4 time. It’s not until 1910 that we get the hesitation waltz the forerunner to the modern Ballroom waltz of today.

To Be Continued



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