QUOTE(x-music-fairy-x @ Mar 8 2012, 08:35 PM)
I think I will follow this structure as it has to be just over 3 minutes long and with everything in binary it only last 2mins 34sec.
Do it slower?
QUOTE(x-music-fairy-x @ Mar 8 2012, 08:35 PM)
I think my teacher meant it as a general rule for all Trio's. As she keeps asking us random what are the features of a Minuet? Trio?
Is there any specific features of a Trio that you know of? Sorry to ask so many questions and thank you for all your help.
I'm really glad I asked about this on here because there is no way I would know much of this without you lot so thank you everyone it is very much appreciated x
Specific features - I presume she means more than just "3 beats in a bar"?
If you're talking just "any" minuet, there's rather a lot of difference stylistically between a minuet by Handel and one by Beethoven, who was writing somewhat towards the twilight of the minuet - during his own lifetime, there was Schubert writing a lot of waltzes, and Beethoven certainly described the main theme of his Diabelli Variations as a waltz. The main difference between a waltz and a minuet - which might in itself be a feature of the minuet, was that the waltz tended (not invariably, though) to have one harmony per bar, whereas the minuet more commonly changed the harmony twice or even three times in a bar. And above all, the waltz had a heavy first beat to each bar (Boom-cha-cha) which is not a feature of a minuet at all. In the earlier baroque minuet the steps came on beats 1 & 3 in the first bar and on beats 1 & 2 of the second (and so on) but this was often an isolated feature of a couple of bars here and there rather than appearing throughout.
I suppose the style was usually what might be describes as "elegant", having a mixture of short slurred groups and staccato notes - but listen if you can to the opening 8 bars of the minuet in Mozart's 39th symphony - a lot of fun and hardly elegant! however the next 8 bars fit exactly into that description I gave of the phrasing style.
The thing about the trio is that is should be another minuet, but should contrast in style if possible. It was originally for a smaller group of instruments (just a trio from the larger group) and is in a different key; if you look at the music of Bach and Handel you will find that other dances in the suites, particularly gavottes and sarabandes, come in pairs like the minuet, and the second is often markedly different, maybe with a drone like a bagpipe, so called a musette,(though this happens more with gavottes) or has some other very distinctive kind of texture - if you go back to Mozart 39, the trio section sounds, if not quite "vulgar", at least "folky" with the rippling quavers of the clarinets. In fact these pairs of Gavottes, Sarabandes, bourees etc are often described as being in "Minuet and trio" form.
If you transfer this kind of contrast to a keyboard, you might get an Alberti-type bass in the trio or the second half of the minuet; staccato chords in the accompaniment, perhaps, or a very contrasting rhythm in the main melody.
Depending on what period you're looking at, you may also be including a certain amount of melodic ornamentation (trills and twiddles), particularly on repeat section. What you will certainly find, and I'm sure this happens all the way through music history where style and structure is concerned,is that once the structure of minuet and trio had become firmly established, most composers decided to ring the changes and produce all sorts of variants on the basic form.
The one thing I'd take issue with is that the structure of a minuet is, as cited in so many websites, :A: :B-A:
The entire point of the baroque and classical binary form is that the first "half" (often the second section is longer) almost always ends on what's called a half close. This might be a brief modulation to the dominant, or an imperfect cadence - no modulation but ends sitting on the V chord. That's section A. The end of the second half does NOT end on that chord. It finishes back on the tonic. And that's not just an afterthought at the end of an otherwise straight repetition. One of two things happens - either the end section of the first half appears as the end of the second half too, but in the home key this time, or the opening occurs again, but at a crucial point the modulation doesn't happen (or a modulation in the opposite direction happens first so that the original modulation brings it back to home). Sound familiar? It's what happens in classical sonata form. But that last section can't be classified as a repeat of section A.
Probably much more than you wanted to know!