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Rameau: Minuet in C No. 1 in C Major

Piano Sheet Music to Download and Print or to View in Mobile Devices

Jean Philippe Rameau - Harpsichord Pieces :
Minuet in C, No. 1
Minuet in C  No. 1  in C Major by Rameau piano sheet music
Key: C Major Year: 1731
Level: 2 Period: Baroque
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Instructive - all parts (189 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Urtext (32 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Edition (235 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Practice Guide (189 kB)
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score (363 kB)
piano music mp3 recording Minuet in C No. 1 - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)

Rameau’s five finger exercise

Rameau’s second set of Harpsichord Pieces begins with a pedagogical method dealing with fingering and technique, together with this small Menuet en rondeau in C. It serves to illustrate a point which Rameau liked to emphasize when explaining his views on keyboard fingering and hand movement: no large movement should be made where a smaller one will suffice. The melody of this Minuet contains no larger intervals than a third within each phrase, and it is possible  to play the whole piece with very little sideways movement of the hand if you use all five fingers.

Making such a big deal of a five finger exercise may seem quite unnecessary to modern pianists, but the fact is that until the 18th century, keyboard players avoided the use of the thumb which was regarded as too insensitive.

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Practice & Performance Tips:
When playing music from this period, it   is important to imagine a harpsichord, whose sound did not last very   long. Therefore, play long notes (quarter notes in the left hand)   shorter and detached. The non-legato touch will help give a dance-like   feel to this minuet.

Many   harpsichords normally had two keyboards. The top keyboard played more   softly than the bottom keyboard. Harpsichord players would move their   hands from one keyboard to another whenever they wanted to vary the   sound with contrasting dynamics (forte or piano).  At the piano, you do   not have to move to another keyboard, but a good pianist does vary the   sound immediately when there is a change of dynamics.

This   minuet has many melodic sequences. Can you find them? For example,   measure 2 is a copy of measure 1, but one step lower. The same pattern   is used after the double bar line, but in G Major. Compare the A and B   sections, both hands.  The only difference is that the B section is   transposed to G Major (a very useful tip to help you memorize this piece   more quickly!).

Be   very faithful to the dynamic changes. Although repetitive, this piece   can sound very interesting and colorful if you follow the suggested   dynamic... Sign up for a Gold membership to read the practice tips.

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