Decorum of the Minuet, Delirium of the Waltz (Hardcover)

A Study of Dance-Music Relations in 3/4 Time (Musical Meaning and Interpretation)

By Eric J. McKee

Indiana University Press, 9780253356925, 262pp.

Publication Date: November 23, 2011

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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.

About the Author

Eric McKee is Associate Professor of Music Theory at Penn State University. He is a contributor to The Age of Chopin (IUP, 2004), and his articles have appeared in such journals as Music Theory Spectrum, Music Analysis, In Theory Only, College Music Symposium, and Theory and Practice.