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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 Urtext
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Edition
piano sheet music Piano score: Scanned score
piano sheet music Piano score: PS Instructive Edition
piano music mp3 recording Minuet in C No. 1 - FREE SAMPLE (mp3 file)
Recordings in Naxos Music Library

Rameau’s five finger exercise

This simple Minuet has only two single voices: a beautiful melody in meandering eighth-notes, accompanied by elegantly striding quarter- and half-notes in the left. 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 right 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. Besides, in itself, this is lovely piece well worth the effort - which is not so great anyway: it can be mastered and memorized quickly at an early stage of learning.

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.

Classical piano sheet music by Rameau to download: Minuet in C No. 1 in the key of This piece has difficulty level 2 in the category Piece

Minuet in C No. 1 in C Major, a composition by the baroque composer Jean Philippe Rameau who was born in 1683 and died in 1764. The piano score of this piece was first published in 1731 and is part of Rameau's Harpsichord Pieces.
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